Sunday, March 27, 2011

Back to the Future

This blog exists as a tool for me as I matriculate through a course in my Masters program at Argosy University--Chicago. More specifically, this will serve as the "portfolio" for a particular, end-of-term assignment that will validate the time, discourse, reflection, and exchange of ideas that will have occured over the 8 weeks of this course.

Ideally, this project, and all of the articles and components that contribute to it, will be of future use to myself as I develop my own ability to understand and take action. It will be a "blog" in the most literal sense--that is to say, a "web log" which has an almost entirely academic purpose. However, at the same time I will place absolutely no restrictions on the structure of this, as the process of developing this final assignment essentially demands that as many current traditional conventions as possible be given a rigorous reflection in the first place.

I suppose I should step back and explain...

The course in which I am enrolled is entitled, "Managing and Evaluating Instructional Technology and Distance Learning". Dry as that may sound, the implications of the subject matter and the manner of thinking encouraged in it, inspire some genuinely reflective questions and observations. By its very definition this course is compelling me to think "outside the box". How do we learn? Why do we learn? How do we adapt? How do we take the mission of publicly educating our nation's youth---preparing them for a practical future--and reassess what that future might be? How much does education need to change? How much can we push the boundaries? What is the fallout?

I am slowly coming to the realization that this course may turn out to be the most important class I take--and I don't say that because I expect my instructor to read this and I'm just kissing his all seriousness, this topic has the potential to addresses many of the fundamental--and in some cases previously unquestioned--foundations on which our modern education system functions. Recognizing that our world is changing in a way that technology will likely be our best vehicle through which to understand it, I can't wait.

I chose this blog title because, while I have no idea what shape my final project will be, or in which directions I will travel to get there, that I have, rattling around in my brain, an unformed notion that--today--can best be summed up by the seemingly contradictory pair of words at the top (and from which this thread title--which of course I borrowed from everyone's favorite Michael J. Fox film from the Reagan Era--is further reductive). On the surface, "organic" and "technical" seem diametrically opposed--one is, after all associated with earthbound, while the other has a more "space-age" connotation to it--but for reasons to which I am only just now beginning to awaken, there is an alignment between the two that apply to education. I hope I can get there in the next month.

Until next time, I would like to share what is the best representation of where my head is at today. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Sir Ken Robinson (Tip 'o' the cap to the aforementioned Mike Lubelfeld for the "heads-up" on this video).