Title : The Blended Mashup Model

Group Name: Autonomous Advocates

Description of title:

This model combines "The Network is the Class" with a face-to-face component that allows K-12 students to scaffold the networked learning process.

Overview of the Blended Mashup model

This is a networked learning model in which students construct personal learning environments based on content standards as established by departments or districts of education. It incorporates the ability to learn anytime/anywhere with regularly scheduled group sessions at one or more locations. It is a model designed to make the most of face-to-face interaction while guiding students toward self-directed, autonomous learning.

Scenario Impact

Attitudes, Expectations, Political Support
  • Standards are established by governing bodies. (While not the best case scenario for autonomous learning, this is the short term reality of public education, at least in the United States.)
  • Students and teachers negotiate how standards are met and assessed.
  • Students apply digital literacy, digital responsibility, Web based organization strategies, and social network construction to create digital artifacts representing the learning that supports a given standard or set of standards.
  • Students across grade levels who are working on similar projects or standards may choose to collaborate in the F2F or online meeting environment.
  • A portfolio is constructed as part of the personal learning environment that documents learning over time. This is presented to University as part of the application process for those students who wish to continue a traditional post-secondary education. It can also be presented to potential employers.

Goals, Functions, Equity

  • Development of savvy, lifelong, networked learners.
  • Balance of rigorous standard of learning with student choice and autonomy.
  • Teachers may serve as subject-matter experts, group leaders in the F2F environment, and facilitators of networked learning.
  • All students are supported regardless of level. They are able to work toward meeting the standards at their own pace and through the means that best support personal differences.

Organizations and Structures

  • Brick and mortar school is a meeting/collaboration place. Students do not have set times to show up. These times are scheduled based on their learning groups. They may choose to work from the school or from home. This works well for those students with two working parents who are not able to work full time from home.
  • Schools also provide sporting events and physical activities as well as hands on labs and creative opportunities.

The Geo-Political Dimension

  • In the U.S., the pendulum will swing from centralized, Federal Government control to site-based leadership. This will allow for schools to best meet the needs of their unique population of students.
  • This model will begin in charter and pilot schools because it will be extremely difficult for traditional schools to move into this scenario all at once.
  • Textbook companies will try to create online models with packaged content that can be sold to large school districts. However, it will soon become painfully clear that students can access any supporting content needed without the support of textbooks. Digital literacy will be a key skill developed in the early grades.

The Teaching Force
  • Pre-service teachers will specialize in online and networked learning. This will allow a core group of mentors to form in support of expanding the number of teachers trained in this model.
  • Teachers will be placed in these programs based on disposition rather than content area skills.

News Stories


2015
Story title - Boomers & GenXers Struggle to Resurrect Lost Information Mid-Career
by Bonnie Stewart, The Mediate Blog Consortium, August 2015

As schools shift to broader adoption of portfolio-based learning documentation as part of the radical de-schooling initiative that's taken place in our nation's learning centres over the past several years, many younger baby boomers and Generation Xers - still in the prime of their careers - are becoming concerned about the disadvantages a traditional education has wrought. They gained their credentials under the old system, where a diploma or degree was considered to speak for itself and thus left the learner with little to show in terms of artifactual evidence or reputational networks built during the learning process. In the new model world, as employment shifts to match the diversified learning centre model and employers begin to expect portfolio applications, the 40- and 50-something applicants find themselves disadvantaged by their inexperience with the medium. This demographic also tended - more so than younger Gen Y, who were also credentialed under the traditional school system - to have been slower to embrace social media as a means to represent their work, talents, and lives as a broad spectrum platform. They are now struggling to source lost and misplaced artifacts representing their past learning and their skills-base, and to adopt the work-as-life online identities by which their younger compatriots - in some cases their own children - pitch themselves to employers.

2020
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2025
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2030
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Scenario Outcomes

1. The model will fail miserably if proper scaffolding is not provided, especially for students who have been in the traditional school system.
2. Societal concept of "school" as an authoritarian place focused more on behaviours than learning will change, but name itself might have to be dropped in order to effect the scope of change and the fluidity central to this model.
3. If pluralism doesn't take real hold at the governing bodies level, so as to create standards that serve disparate goals and worldviews, a population even partway down the path of owning its own local learning is going to fragment and lash out at the standards first.
4. Open textbooks may serve as the scaffolding. Even with personalized network learning, learners want/need some guidance and a representation of the body of knowledge about a subject.
5. The learning artifacts will not be textbooks at all. What learners really need are examples of what they are doing. The Double Helix as opposed to a bio text. The Idea of History as opposed to a history textbook. Wealth of Nations and Das Kapital instead of Samuelson. It will no longer be tell and test. Learning will become show and do!!
6. Games and simulations will play a large role in learning at all levels.

Authors

Wendy Drexler - Would love to have others add to this scenario.
Bonnie Stewart

Feedback

  • Interesting to imagine the problems for people without portfolio artifacts as verification of mastery or competence. Thanks!
  • Imagine the seriousness that learners might bring to their learning if what they were doing actually mattered for something more than a diploma or degree. The Hacker Ethic living and expanding!!