The baobab tree, sometimes even referred to as the up-side-down-tree, has long been one of my favourite trees. Majestic and dreamlike, baobab trees have been around for hundreds and hundreds of years. Much like the need education. For what else is education but preparing a young generation for its future role? That is obviously a simplistic view, however, like baobab trees, educating, learning, adapting to new technologies, whether the wheel, the Gutenberg press or digital technology have always been part of human challenges. Today, challenges just happen to be more complex simply because our world systems are more complex, enriched with layers and endless connections.
Their are spaces between accepting challenges or hiding from them; between learning with new technologies and ignoring them, with the belief that they will fade away and never return to cause disruption. For all new technology brings disruption in thinking processes and values of knowledge. Education is often caught in this disruption, yet the immobile sea of muddled complaints neither advances nor hinders learning, for learning will occur. Within or out of classrooms, with and without teachers.
I too complain. Despite years of learning and teaching, I still do not understand why everyone must be forced to fit into a mould which educational administrators find desirable to control. Where is the acknowledgement of creativity that is so necessary to solve the problems which challenge our world today? Why must one still pretend that learning patterns must be in line with the industrial age when we are living in a digital age of borderless boundaries?
As 2011 draws its weary curtains, I still question. Never before has there been so much freedom in learning, so much freedom of choice and so much debate on whether digital learning enhances or not, learning. I understand that it is necessary to ensure that educational approaches will not hinder a generation of learners – that has happened often in so many places of the world for political, economical and religious reasons. I understand that “testing the instrument” may be required.
Nevertheless, corridors of “power” are melting into different spaces as learning becomes increasingly open, accessible, attainable. “Instruments” of learning no longer belong to one particular class nor political wing. Disruption is a mere click away.
Learning spaces change.
Disruption becomes more than a passing element of change.
Questioning remains my opening of spaces between what is and what needs to be.
Disruptive questioning leads to change.
How will you add enlightenment in the space of 2012?