A Network Connecting School Leaders From Around The Globe
I had the fortunate opportunity to stumble on George's work in 2007 and continue to follow George through many online communities. You can read more about George's work on Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age at http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/connectivism.htm I found this Q & A with Mary Grush from Campus Technology below thought provoking as well!
Seeking Systemic Change: Higher Education in a Digital, Networked Age by Mary Grush
A Q & A with George Siemens
By Mary Grush on 6/20/12 in Campus Technology
A widely recognized thought leader, author, and researcher in higher education, George Siemens (photo, right) is the Associate Director of the Technology Enhanced Knowledge Research Institute at Athabasca University, leading the learning analytics research team. His analyses of the challenges facing higher education and the corresponding changes to higher education practice and to our institutions take a holistic view: They consider core values as well as the complex the interactions of digital environments and emerging trends in learning organizations.
Siemens says, "The changing way we create and share knowledge is at the core of what's driving education. It's not the fact that we have mobiles and the Web that requires education to change, but rather that we are using these technologies to begin circumventing existing knowledge processes. And what we do with knowledge determines the types of institutions we need." Here, Campus Technology asked Siemens for his perspectives on the groundswell of change apparent in higher education.
Mary Grush: We are hearing a lot recently about change in higher education. What is one of the leading indicators of change?
George Siemens: Today, we see half of the education equation, the learners, doing fascinating things with content and ideas, while much of the other half, the faculty, is still taking a dissemination approach to curriculum. There are obviously numerous other areas--economic, policy, technological--where significant change is occurring around higher education, but, the unit of currency in higher education is knowledge. When principal agents in the education system start doing different things with knowledge, it is time to pay attention.
Grush: If students are doing different things with knowledge now, is it just a matter of academics catching up, and also changing?
Siemens: Academics are not driving the change bus. Leadership in traditional universities has been grossly negligent in preparing the academy for the economic and technological reality it now faces. They have not developed the systemic capacity of the university to function in a digital, networked age.