Sunday, July 24, 2005
If one accepts much of the analysis above, four implications are apparent for investments in physical and technological infrastructure:
- Wireless everywhere: Provide total coverage of the campus; subsidize uniform MWDs offering convergence of media (phone, PDA, gaming, Internet).
- Multipurpose habitats: Create layered/blended/personalizable places rather than specialized locations (such as computer labs).
- Augmented reality: Experiment with smart objects and intelligent contexts (via GPS and RFID tags and transceivers).
- Mirroring: Experiment with virtual environments that replicate physical settings but also provide �magical� capabilities for immersive experience.
This is not to imply that campuses should immediately undertake massive shifts toward these four themes, but rather to suggest that students of all ages with increasingly neomillennial learning styles will be drawn to colleges and universities that have these capabilities.
Four implications are also apparent for investments in professional development. Faculty will increasingly need capabilities in:
- Co-design: Developing learning experiences students can personalize
- Co-instruction: Utilizing knowledge sharing among students as a major source of content and pedagogy
- Guided learning-by-doing pedagogies: Infusing case-based participatory simulations into presentational/assimilative instruction
- Assessment beyond tests and papers: Evaluating collaborative, nonlinear, associational webs of representations; utilizing peer-developed and peer-rated forms of assessment; using student-initiated assessments to provide formative feedback on faculty effectiveness
Some of these shifts are controversial for many faculty, and all involve �unlearning� almost unconscious beliefs, assumptions, and values about the nature of teaching, learning, and the academy. In addition to mastering the intellectual/technical dimensions involved, professional development that requires unlearning necessitates high levels of emotional/social support. As the nature of students alters, instructors must themselves experience mediated immersion and develop neomillennial learning styles to continue effective teaching