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B Davis

Very interesting topic and I agree that that learning evolves as the bounded environment transforms. In today’s learning environment, traditional approaches has its pros and cons. Students always learn best when they can connect to the materials in a way that is meaningful to their lives. Learners look for the relevance in the course material, and they seek ways to make a connection between it and their own experiences. This is central to the andragogy model.

Ann-Marie

When I mentioned cultures that are constant, I was thinking about the marginalized groups in some cultures. As you indicated, cultures really change but some more slowly; even within cultures that change, some peoples are not part of the change. I speak of the poor, illiterate, un-trained or unskilled, geographically segregated, and otherwise. For example, indigenous farmers in Mexico, who continue to farm using traditional methods; they are vulnerable to the unfair competition with more privileged farmers who benefit from modern technology. I am also thinking of inner-city Jamaicans who, despite the invasion of technology, cannot even afford electricity. I speak of rural communities that are denied internet access because communication technology providers believe it is not profitable to serve these communities. For example, while the Ministry of Education in Jamaica may have provided equipment and tools for e-learning classes in some schools across the island, the culture of some institutions remain constant because they have no access to infrastructure that facilitate the use of these equipment. Therefore, as the rest of the country moves along, they remain constant. Do you see my position?

Lloyd comments: Thanks, Ann-Marie, for the clarification about constant cultures. You are certainly correct that there are micro-cultures everywhere that seem to be at the very fringes of change- and because the main cultures are changing rapidly, this increases the gaps between the center and the fringes. With respect to this book, it is certainly the case that the authors are thinking of students who have- and have had for most of their lives - access to the internet and are deeply embedding in a culture of technology and access. My guess is that were the Jamaican students you mention suddenly to be given the equipment and infrastructure required to utilize the kind of approach suggested in the book, they would not find it attractive/useful in the short and medium term because it would not respond to where they are emotionally and experientially.

Ellen Sorberg

Sounds like a great book. As a graduate student in education, I will find this book useful in my online learning experience. Thank you.

Lloyd comments: you are welcome!

Bob Bing

A Comment:

As someone engaged in both the world of education and business, the notion of exploring a different model of learning and education (they are not the same thing) is intriguing. However,oftentimes in such efforts, I find the devil to be in the details. The authors make it clear, and justifiably so, that we are in need of a fundamental reassessment of learning models. To this point I am in full agreement. One of the issues I find intriguing is bringing balance to freedom and structure. Learning requires both, but precisely how this is accomplished is a point of inquiry I feel is largely unanswered.

Lloyd comments: Hi Bob. Thanks for your comments. I agree that the issue of balance of freedom and structure is not well addressed in this book. That is obviously the next big challenge in utilizing this type of approach. Perhaps some of our readers may have already begun to experiment in this area, and can provide us all with some insights.

Ann-Marie

The authors certainly addressed some of the modern trends in education; your post is an excellent take on the issues. Of course the evolution of technology and globalization in general purport new perspectives on education and learning. Access to educational opportunities has bridged the not just geographical, but cultural borders. My concern is how does this ‘new culture of learning’ consider the implications of one’s culture? What about cultures that remain constant while the rest of the world is changing?

Lloyd responds: Excellent question. In the first instance, this would seem to be a question left open by the authors' relative silence on the structures within which these new learning approaches are to work. However, the approaches being suggested are clearly reflections of changing behavior on the part of learners, and may not be descriptive of where students in many cultures are today re. interactions with technology, social media, etc. But are there really cultures that are remaining constant while the rest of the world changes, or is it just a question of rate of change? What examples are you thinking about?

Wanda Carter

Greetings everyone:

I agree that technology is ever evolving and learning has taken on many forms. With Ipads, mobile technology, game boards and laptops, learning has become an ongoing process that requires the institution of new applications to operate these gadgets.

Learning is no longer restricted to a building anymore, an individual can be riding a bus, a train or a plane and be engaged in research to complete a lesson plan or proposal for an upcoming meeting.

Learning has now become a way of life for those of us who are encouraged and inspired by the evolution of technology.

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