21 December 2011

50 more tools. I need a bigger house.

Here are 50 more tools to add to the 100 top tools for learning in 2011. I've been reviewing another institution's online course to train faculty how to teach online. (I'm in the process of developing something to prepare faculty to teach online.) This course is very-well designed. It's also rather tool-centric, although it tries not to be (e.g. in course outcomes, and module naming conventions).

I've stopped saying "it's not about the technology" because it ultimately is about the technology in my work. It's sort of a sad truth. Either it's about how to set up Blackboard's discussion board or it's about the differences between blogs, wikis, journals and discussion boards. 

The subtle difference I aim for is a design-orientation, that is, acquiring the habits of mind (Dewey,1938) of a designer (Future Work Skills 2020). Design expertise is conceptual and principled knowledge, with tools being instrumental to processes. The challenges are: most instructors coming to technology have a teacher mindset, few have design expertise, and even fewer have time to learn it. 

So tool-centrism is a low-threshold approach. It's the fastest way to design-exposure.