Thursday, April 1, 2010

Digital Media and Schooling

In an interview with Henry Jenkins, Rich Halverson from UW-Madison talk about his new book, Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology: The Digital Revolution and Schooling in America where he examines the incompatibilities between schooling and technology. In the interview Halverson said, "Digital media provides a path to personalizing and customizing learning that is often at odds with the batch processing model of, especially, K-12 schooling. This has meant that digitally literate young people have come to understand that there are at least two living channels for learning - 1) an institutional channel, and 2) a peer-driven, interest-driven, and unregulated digital media channel." Think about what this might mean for how students choose to learn.

Check out the first part and part two of the interview or look for the book.


  1. The part of the interview that interested me was him talking about how it's hard for us to comprehend how difficult it was for early school designers to take on the task of mass schooling. It wasn't that long ago that education was done in one-room schoolhouses or scheduled around the farming season. Schooling wasn't always done the way it currently is and we need to be aware of that to be able to adjust to the changing times. Who could be sometime in the not-so-distant future that all schooling is done online.

  2. There is certainly an interest in this from those who want options other than the standard public school. At this point, it is still a relatively small proportion as it can't be done without adult supervision in most cases. In public schools there are often individual courses offered in schools where the courses wouldn't be available otherwise. The Wisconsin Virtual School is an interesting one to look at for this type of thing. They are also work with school districts to offer "virtual schools" through the district. Their model is largely individualized instruction with a licensed teacher overseeing the work and a mentor locally for each student.

    As a distance learner, what do you think are the difficulties and advantages of doing this in the K-12 environment?