Back to School – Will Your Classroom be Wiki’d?

In this article from PC-World.ca, Don Tapscott talks about the ‘new’ classroom. Mr. Tapscott is the author of Wikinomics where he describes the changes in business and the workplace as a result of collaboration and sharing of ideas versus top-down, command and control environments which are elements of the traditional workplace. Schools, just like businesses are being populated by the digital-natives. The need to change delivery methods to meet the new students needs is a hot topic of conversation in faculty lounges all over the country. The question is, “who is going to start this change?”.

The provincial Government of Alberta  just announced a $ 350 million dollar “investment” in public buildings with over $ 200 million of it going to education – Advanced Education (post secondary) and Education (K-12) ministries. This money is for capital building projects, typically old brick-and-mortar suffering from deferred maintenance issues. Where does the funding for new ‘digital’ learning initiatives come from? From the “Learning and Technology Policy Framework“, a high-level document from 2004, it appears that the dollars for learning technologies are included in ‘base funding’. Does that money ever make it to a faculty member who wants to fund new projects such as blogs, wikis and podcasting? If anyone out there knows the answer to this – please let me know.

Dean

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