Customization of education gives an opportunity for learning content to be delivered to a large amount of people providing a choice to cater to each learner using technology. “Technology presents teachers not only with more content than ever before but also more routes into that content”. (Bowan 2014). Instead of the usual reading of textbooks, students have a choice to learn content by watching videos or listening to recordings.
Education 2020 (https://education-2020.wikispaces.com/Disruptive+Innovation) describes the change that needs to happen to create a revolution in education and about disrupting the conventional way of teaching to promote change. The site also discusses how online learning is already disrupting the old ways of doing things. “Institutions have acquired new students and saved money by serving courses virtually rather than in classrooms. As technology and courses have improved, more students have begun to take online courses along side regular face to face classes.”
The Edvocate (http://www.theedadvocate.org/in-an-ever-changing-online-environment-course-customization-may-reign-supreme/) talks about software like Odysseyware that allows its software to change online curriculum to the educators needs. Content can be added and deleted or rearranged, and you can search curriculum by topic and standard. With this kind of software educators can easily create a curriculum with many different facets for students to choose from.
After reading and researching about customization online, I feel that changing the way content is delivered can be beneficial to the world of education, but caution must be taken. Giving too many choices may not always have positive effects, especially to who you are giving that choice to. To make this type of education work, the accountability must fall on the learner and I think that we may be giving too much faith on the discipline level of all learners.
“Inevitable” is a book on Mass Customized Learning, details the system being implemented in RSU 18. Here is an article about educators who are opposed to this model of education they are implementing and how it is having negative effects for their students.
Letting people have their say is beneficial in terms of letting them be comfortable, but isn’t having people come out of that comfort zone a much more impactful way of learning? Having someone say I only understand when subjects are delivered a certain way may not see how wonderful another delivery system can be because they would never choose it. “…we are creatures of habit, and it may be better to change the modality from time to time. Few people change news sources once they find one with which they agree,..” (Bowen 2014). This last passage lets me think that at the end of the day, we as educators still have to have some say in how to deliver content or students given too much choice may choose to be ignorant in how they want material to be taught.
Giving people choices on how to learn with technology can be very helpful to reach out to a large amount of people understand their way. I can see the benefit for students having trouble understanding material with one delivery system can learn the same material by using another. I wonder what would happen when you give a choice to someone that is simply indifferent and can learn from multiple delivery systems? Can giving too much choice confuse students?
As well as being able to offer the many alternative delivery systems, instructors need to maintain these avenues and update when needed. I agree that customization can reach out to many different people in a cost effective way but it will also take a lot of effort to evaluate how many different choices to give the learner and how each choice will be effective enough to keep over the others.
With my field of interest to teach culinary arts, I think I can definitely apply customization to my classes. Instead of having students read a cooking textbook, students may watch a video on how to cut vegetables or how to make a sauce and from that they can practice on their own before class.
Although I can do this with many different aspects of cooking, I would be careful in what content I would put in videos or blogs. Giving people too much choice may promote certain aspects of learning but being too choosy may present gaps in what they are learning. Following a certain chef’s blog because of interest in his/her style gives freedom of choice. If that style goes against the fundamentals you are trying to teach, there may conflict with that choice because of those personal preferences.
Online learning and customization sounds very appealing to educators who can cater their content to each learner. Finding that balance between giving the best choices, maintaining them, and trusting the learner to stay disciplined in their own interest of learning may be a challenge.
Teaching Naked by José Anotonio Bowen
Education 2020 by Carla Cross, Karen Hamilton, Debbie Plested and Mary Rezk
The Edvocate by Matthew Lynch
The Maine Wire May 28, 2013 by Steve Robinson