Learning as Ecosystem: Are we asking the right question

Today I am attending the annual Conference of the E-Learning Industry Group in Berlin, listeing to speakers confronting the theme of “The Digital Turn”.

One thing which stroke me is a comment from Chris Dede from the Harvard Graduate School for Education. He emphasized that actually we are talking to much about searching for the right model to use and imolement technology for learning. BUT that in fact education and learning is not a question of the (technology or scaling) model and that every model actually has its restrictions. And that we risk to exchange one model with its restrictions against another model with other restructions and loose sight to see that actuall education and learning is rather to be understood as an ecosystem. In this ecosystem the different learners have different needs for their learning. I found this a wonderful comment because it refocusses the entire debate on education again. It seems to me: The (learning)technology debate needs revamping in the direction to support providing flexibility and make the different flexible solutions relevant for the institutions in which learning takes place.

For me the following questions came to mind immediatelly: Do we actually ask the right qestion when thinking about technology solutions – or is the underpinning issue not rather the way we organise education in our eductaional institutions, which does not value the concept of one approach to learning for each individual but rather values one approach for learning for all.

Wonderful inspiring – a good meeting.

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About Ulf-Daniel Ehlers

Ulf is a learning innovation expert and has been appointed Professor for Educational Management and Lifelong Learning at the Baden-Wurttemberg Cooperative State University in Karlsruhe in 2011. From 2011-2016 he held the position of Vicepresident at the same university and has been responsible for Quality and Academic Affairs. He held positions as Associate Professor of University Duisburg-Essen (Germany), Professor for Technology Enhanced Learning of University Augsburg (Germany) and Associate Professor of the Graduate School for Management and Technology of the University of Maryland University College (USA). Ulf is a featured keynote-speaker and speaker to audiences in more than 45 countries and is author of more than 150 scholarly articles with over 3000 academic citations. Ulf holds degrees in English Language, Social Sciences and Education Sciences from the University of Bielefeld, where he finished his Ph.D. with honors in the field of Technology Enhanced Learning in 2003. He was awarded his habilitation in 2008 from the University of Duisburg-Essen.
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