W13: Who owns the future of learning?

This is a Discussion Post related to the final week of 522.

Who owns the future of learning? Now that we’re concluding our journey I’ll ask you to reflect on the famous Margaret Meade quote: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” in terms of education often seeming like an intractable chaos of government, corporations, missionaries, and tricksters. In particular, now that 522 has provoked you, what do you feel your obligation in this ownership is, and do you feel you have the capacity to do something about it?


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22 responses to “W13: Who owns the future of learning?”

  1. julio palacios

    If ETEC522 has provided me with anything, it is the insight needed to approach educational trends and educational technology with a grounded and analytical perspective. As education continues to be the focus of much bleeding edge innovation, it is the role of the educator as well as the EVA to differentiate glitter from gold. By coupling the grounded analytical insight I acquired in ETEC522 with the wealth of knowledge I’ve obtained throughout the MET experience, I feel confident that I can now position myself as an educational technologies gatekeeper who uses research, learning theory and market awareness to align the educational technology I use and purchase with my institution’s directives and my learner’s goals. Although I don’t foresee myself venturing into the role of an entrepreneur, I do feel empowered to view my current role as an educator and administrator with a refreshed perspective that is eager to identify pain points, research solutions and contribute in steering the direction of my department and the learners it supports.

    ( 3 upvotes and 0 downvotes )
    1. Michael Saretzky

      Wow Julio, I was just about to start typing and I decided to take a look at what you had and I am glad that looked, as I would have echoed a lot of what you said. The first time I thought of taking my Master’s in Educational Technology was after a PD on TPACK and it made me think about the waste of money and time there can be within educational technology. Coincidentally, I feel that it was my final two courses, ETEC 522 and ETEC 524, that helped me grow the most with this critical eye. Like you I do not feel I am cut out for the venture world, unless I could do so with a safety net. However, I do feel much better equipped with judging the technology that is entering the school and even the set up that there could be for a school, I actually just put my name forward today to be on a design committee for a new school on my division and I hope to bring the insight I have from the MET program, specifically these past two courses.

      ( 1 upvotes and 0 downvotes )
  2. adrian wheeler

    I started the MET program to get a different understanding and perspective on educational technology. As an IT professional I am often the “technical expert” brought in when new technology is being considered or integrated. I quickly discovered that gaining an understanding of pedagogy and learning with educators could allow me to step into their shoes and bring more value to my department through a more diverse mindset. the MET program has been doing exactly that and ETEC 522 has given me a further perspective by illuminating the role and mindset of the entrepreneur, the venture analyst and more broadly, the business side of educational technology. This has afforded me further insight into industry I work in and has been very helpful when dealing with vendors, or researching and integrating new technology. Of further note, I have never been attracted to the idea of creating my own venture, but this course has ignited some excitement and opened my eyes to the possibility.

    ( 2 upvotes and 0 downvotes )
  3. Rachel

    Julio, Michael, and Adrian have summarized how I feel and thank you! I gained a whole new appreciation of the different tools and services we see in educational technologies and I also felt more confident to voice my ideas, whether it be concerns or agreements, when I spot something in this current remote learning world. Coming from an educational administration perspective, many of the concepts introduced in this course are rather foreign to me. However, I do see how this course works well with other MET courses I have completed so far and A3 was almost a final project for the MET program in some ways to me.

    ( 0 upvotes and 0 downvotes )
  4. AmandaKong

    Hello everyone

    ETEC 522 learning experience has undoubtedly ignited my passion and desire to learn more about the future of learning. Times have changed and the field of education needs to embrace these changes. From an evolutionary standpoint, we need to adapt to these changes to survive through the chaos. I believe that as human beings, we have the capacity to think and cooperate together to make changes in society. It is what makes us remarkable. Unfortunately, we are living in times of divisiveness, I feel we have the capacity to promote so much goodness. As educators, we have the power to teach the future generation to think critically and independently. The internet and the rise of technology are powerful but the content/data is only meaningful if we choose to use it wisely in our applications and ventures. I have learned to view from an EVA’s perspective, which has enriched my understanding and awareness. The current education market is full of potential, I hope we will continue to develop products, services, and ideas that help us grow stronger as a community.

    Thank you all for this eye-opening experience. 

    ( 2 upvotes and 0 downvotes )
    1. adrian wheeler

      Hi Amanda, I really appreciate your focus on positive change and building a community. I agree that community is so important and we have an excellent opportunity to take technology and use it to further these goals.

      ( 0 upvotes and 0 downvotes )
      1. AmandaKong

        Hi Adrian

        Thanks, it is so important to focus on positive changes!

        ( 0 upvotes and 0 downvotes )
  5. sundeep lail

    This course has definitely opened my eyes to a new way of looking at the future of learning, especially in terms of the venture side of technology learning. It definitely made me think outside of the box, and enriched and educated my knowledge in an area I would never had thought I would look at. The idea that we can change how people view, learn and what information we give them based on what we have seen as needed, is definitely a power. This course has piqued my interest in looking at learning technology from an EVA perspective and I am hoping to put some of that knowledge into my work. Definitely from my work perspective, our funders have the ultimate say since they are the ones with the capital, however, as an individual who understands what is needed on the frontlines, I truly feel I can have a say in what is provided for our teachers. I want to show the funders and our upper management what is out there, empower our teachers to really dig deeper in to the world of technology and help support and possibly create products that will ultimately give rise to a group of educators who get excited about learning technology.
    Overall, I truly enjoyed this experience and hope to continue learning within this frame of ventures in learning technology.

    ( 0 upvotes and 0 downvotes )
  6. Vijaya Jammi

    ” What I am demanding of other people is what I am demanding of myself”. This is another quote of Margaret Meade, which inspires committed individuals to do their part, big or small, in whatever capacity they can. Inspired by this, when I reflect on the question “who owns the future of education”, my answer would be, everyone of us!
    As my part of contribution to the future of learning community, I always believed, learning and disseminating knowledge would be the ideal help I can extend to the field of education. Although I have been an instructor for considerable years of my life, I realize the need to keep pace with the change, and be the link to bridge and facilitate a smooth passage for onward progress of learners.

    The field of technology is bound to drive the future of education through myriad paths and unexplored means. And, I have always been a curious spectator of this field. I felt the need to, but never been a participant in terms of researching, reviewing, analyzing and contributing to the subject of educational technology. ETEC 522 gave me this amazing opportunity of doing this. As I reach this concluding part of the course, I feel more confident of doing my part for the future of education, as one of the more informed stakeholders of education.

    ( 0 upvotes and 0 downvotes )
  7. Alice Shin

    So, ‘Who owns the future of learning?’ While a select few may actually go on to create significant and lasting change, the cliche response may be that, we all basically own the future of learning, as both educators/trainers who create content and innovative ways to teach, and learners who show the market the preferred – and ultimately the best – ways to learn, demanding this be met.

    My personal response to this question as well as where I see my place in it – I deliberately chose ETEC522 as my very first course to dive into the deep end of EdTech and it’s definitely felt that way at times! Do I feel I have the capacity to help shape the future of learning? I definitely want to and hope I do. There is so much to know and learn and absorbing everything will continue after this course has ended, but I’ll move ahead with valuable knowledge, tools and insights to build on, as well as some friends too! I know I want to remain in anything related to Adult Education and training and engage in managing the incredible changes we are experiencing as we digitize our workplaces. To do this, I will remain as an intrapreneur for now and see what opportunities arise to contribute to learning and technology over time.

    ( 0 upvotes and 0 downvotes )
  8. Jessica Daicos

    In the first week of ETEC 565E, we were shown the video of Flight of the Hummingbird, an indigenous parable about the environment (https://youtu.be/naj6zZakgEg). To summarize, the hummingbird carries water, drop by drop, onto the forest fire while all the other animals stand by the massive blaze, because the hummingbird is “doing what I can”. While one part of me understands the empowerment of this message, the other part of me still wonders what the point is of putting drops of water on a wildfire. Does that basically mean that we have no real power? Particularly when surrounded by the “intractable chaos of government, corporations, missionaries, and tricksters”?

    My obligation in this ownership? If anything, I have begun to want to affect change on a wider scale than a class of students. Though I don’t deny the power of changing individual lives, I would like to now work on a bigger scale. EdTech ventures definitely tick that box, in terms of scalability. I do feel like I have the capacity to do something about it, but I think it comes down to working outside the broken system. There’s the Buckminster Fuller quote, “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” So, I guess that’s where 522 fits in… developing the capacity to build a new model.

    ( 1 upvotes and 0 downvotes )
  9. paul johnson

    The future of learning is a product of the society it is immersed in, this means that there are many influences on the direction of education. Business, for better or worse, have influence over education because materialism and consumerism are underpinnings to our society. The result is that education has to meet students where they are and provide learning within the social realities in which they work, and big business has influence on the technologies and resources that society utilizes. The open market then is a reflection of the wishes of the people; bad ideas fail and good ideas succeed. What has prevalence, is then a product of the choices people make. Education systems need to reflect these realities so though big business has influence on education, it’s ultimately the will of the people that guide its direction. So, I guess, the answer is that people have control over the direction of education.

    ( 0 upvotes and 0 downvotes )
  10. Aaron Chan

    Being surrounded by all of you folks has been sort of wake up call for me. I’m inspired by the content of your discussion posts, and in awe of how many of you are actively and creatively using technology in your educational contexts. Although I still have much to learn about this vast topic of EdTech, I’ve been provoked to a) get my hands dirty and become a user of these technologies, and b) experiment with technology in the classroom. Sir Ken Robinson said that “once we close the doors to our classrooms, we are the education system to our students”, or something to that effect. Above all, this course has given me the motivation to stop making excuses, and to do everything I can to improve the educational experiences for those around me.

    ( 0 upvotes and 0 downvotes )
  11. mHHm HmmH

    It has been interesting stepping into the mind of as an investor. There are a lot to research and study because so much is at stake. I had to think about the budget, man power, resources, and technology and how much it could impact the future of education. 1 wrong move and it could be devastating. I do think I can do something about it, but my mindset will probably have to change. ETEC 522 allowed me to wear many hats and be in the shoes of educators/students/instructional designer/developer, etc. Understanding their perspective really helps me see what type of EdTech I can build, or recruit people to build a product with me. However, One thing that pulls me back from moving forward with a goal is fear. Dr. Jordan Peter had a great quote, “You’re going to pay a price for every thing you do and everything you don’t do.”. So might as well use the time while I am still healthy to make an impact despite the fear and choose the opportunity for growth and adventure.

    ( 0 upvotes and 0 downvotes )
  12. SafaaAbuSaa

    The way I see it, my obligation in this field is to continue to explore educational technologies and reflect on their design and application, and find out how to best use their potential to enhance learning experiences. I believe I have great capacity to do that, thanks to the MET program. Thanks to this course in particular, I actually feel empowered to create my own ventures and try to successfully pitch them. In other words, try to be a disruptive change maker. I believe I have, to use Meade’s words, the commitment and thoughtfulness needed for that. The kind of capacity I wish I had more of is the financial capacity to support mine and others’ ventures and ultimately help bring about good changes in the world.

    ( 0 upvotes and 0 downvotes )
  13. joseph villella

    The thought provoking question of exactly who owns the future of learning can be answered in a few ways. To some, the future of learning is in the hand of the regulating bodies that shape and control the education systems in our country. These governing bodies already have complete control, and therefore, can be seen as the owners of education as they directly select what knowledge should be shared to our youth. Some may say that educators themselves own the future of education as they are the ones who actually conduct the lessons which transfer knowledge to our youth. However, I feel like we are reaching a point in which we will all own the future of learning. Learning is no longer only something that occurs in the classrooms as many students learn through self-guided means through the internet. Students are learning new skills and they are learning more about their interest through access to the internet. The internet has become a pool of knowledge, and as technology continues to improve and becomes more accessible to people around the world, I feel like more learning will continue to occur outside of the classroom at an increasing rate. Therefore in a sense, the educational technology industry may own more of the future of learning than our governing bodies. As much as they could try to regulate certain aspects of education, eventually technology will prevail and will guide our education systems forward.

    ( 1 upvotes and 0 downvotes )
  14. EmilyOlson

    The obligation I feel to take part in the future of learning is to connect educators and learners with ventures that are non-profit, that can utilize government funding, or are otherwise affordable so that cost is not a barrier. Obviously in the real world things don’t just happen for free, and cutting edge technologies are usually going to be expensive because of the time and expertise that goes into development. However there are a lot of educational and assistive technologies that are inaccessible for many users due to costs that seem unnecessary and excessive. My learning in 522 has helped me to consider what shapes these costs, and the ways in which learning technology can become more accessible (financially and otherwise) as new innovations are developed and become more available in the market (e.g. VR headsets). This course has also helped me to understand the value I place on ventures that are affordable enough to be purchased and used by learners and educators that they are designed to support, and has connected me with ventures and research ideas that align with this criteria. I do think I have the capacity to act on the obligation that I feel with the learning and resources from this course, as I do assistive and educational technology support in schools.

    ( 0 upvotes and 0 downvotes )
  15. Terrence Dai

    My journey through ETEC522 has been an absolute joy, filled with enlightening moments. I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to connect with a diverse array of individuals, each bringing fresh ideas and perspectives into my world. Now, I won’t lie – at first, navigating the WordPress platform was a bit of a puzzle for me. It was like stepping into a new realm. But as I got the hang of it, I stumbled upon a true gem – the platform’s knack for holding onto and showcasing past group efforts.

    What’s really cool is how WordPress aligns with the creator’s vision. It’s like it takes this traditional academic tool, which usually has a set timeline, and transforms it into this dynamic hub for entrepreneurship. It becomes a space where ideas flow freely, unlike the often isolated academic setting we’re used to. And let me tell you, the mix of backgrounds and professions in this group is like a recipe for fresh insights. You get to hear about challenges you never even thought of, and your own contributions can be a spark for someone else.

    ( 2 upvotes and 0 downvotes )
  16. Haejin Jun

    It was a great opportunity to reflect on my educational experiences, think and answer questions related to education, participate in various activities, create elevator and venture pitches, and think about future education through Ventures in Learning Technologies. I believe the future of learning and teaching depends on myself and my choices in the environment where I belong. The journey was worth it! I will continue to contribute to the education of myself, students, educators, and people that I meet in the future. Good luck!

    ( 0 upvotes and 0 downvotes )
  17. Douglas Millie

    I have never considered myself to be a natural leader. I think I lack some of the natural charm and charisma that some seem to exude effortlessly. That said, I have had to lead when the cause and the lack of other leaders pushed me forward. I think that this course could be subtitled: Leading the change in Education. Whether we intend to start some sort of venture in the business world, or not, this course has forced us to look at making change from a different perspective: is it valuable enough to dedicate the time and resources needed? All too often, educators (and others) get bogged down in their “wish lists” about what education could or should be. We forget that someone needs to make it happen, and those people need to convince more than just teachers that it needs to happen. Even government initiatives need financial support, and people that do not directly benefit from it need to be sold.

    Personally, I feel like I am more prepared to “lead the charge” on some ideas, and see if some others are willing to follow me.

    ( 0 upvotes and 0 downvotes )
  18. Richard Derksen

    I think back to one of the readings early in this course on “The Right Stuff”, that mentioned “one qualifying recommendation is to make sure that every person you rely on has “skin in the game””. As we wrap up this course, I think this quote fits nicely into the context of who owns the future of learning. One of aspects I enjoyed most in 522 was taking on the role of an EVA and understanding what it meant to have a vested interest in these ventures from an entrepreneurial and analyst perspective, in addition to the educational point of view. I feel this, along with learning about the diversity of perspectives in the course, helped shaped my own view in that all of us own the future of learning. While I do not have any immediate plans to enter the entrepreneur ride, I can be a champion in my current work to advocate for tools and ventures that I believe will benefit the learning experience. Personally, I also feel obligated where I can to invest small amounts in companies if I believe they will impact education for the better.

    ( 0 upvotes and 0 downvotes )
  19. meagan kelm

    As ETEC 522 and my MET journey come to an end I can reflect on my journey and how my perspective, knowledge and skill has changed in the past couple years. I feel like not only do I have a new set of skills but also a new mindset that will allow me to reflect on technology critically and thoughtfully. A few classes and specifically ETEC 522 have also opened my eyes to the power we have in the world of educational technology. The beginning of this course I did not have a lot of knowledge or interest in business ventures, I didn’t have an entrepreneurial spirit for things technology but I will say that at the end I can see it is possible for someone with an idea to be able to go forward and prosper maybe easier than it has before and although the course didn’t make me want to get out their and create it did open my ideas to the work as well as the possibilities we have. Additionally I fell like I gained skills in being able to look past the packaging of the product and be able to start looking at it from other stand points to see if this is a viable and sustainable option.

    ( 0 upvotes and 0 downvotes )

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