Note: The expression “Anywhere Anytime learning” has already been used by a number of organizations, not the least is Microsoft’s Laptop Program for schools. As a result the phrase 7×24 learning is being used instead.

JUST IN TIME
The current educational model is vested in the remnants of the industrial revolution. The reality of the current century relies on Communications Technology and a fundamental shift in time management to provide services ‘on-demand’. Public Education must attempt to meet a similar level of service or languish. The Japanese just-in–time production model (KANBAN) was one of the early examples of this shift. Some educational writers have dubbed just-in-time education as KANBRAIN. Both models rely on well-engineered systems – usually centrally managed – that allow resources to be made available as and where needed to solve a problem or complete a task

WHAT ARE WE TRYING TO SOLVE?
The expectation is that you can do your banking, shop for a house, and communicate globally at anytime day or night – weekday or weekend. This leads to different work lives and students are adapting similar strategies. If a family wants to go on vacation in June instead of July there should be systems that allow their children to complete their work ahead of time. Currently absences from school don’t adequately allow for the completion of work missed. A student that is involved in athletics or other activities that create large absences have to put their education ‘on hold’ or rely on some form of distance learning. Students that can’t perform well in school get pushed to the fringe of the school community and, unless there is a demonstrated disability, must lobby for extra help or purchase that service outside the school system.

All of these problems relate to the time and space limitations of the conventional school model. The application of common technology tools and adaptation of current school models

  1. If it ain’t broke – Concentrate schools on what they do well, socialization, face to face instruction, and custodial care.
  2. ‘Outside the box’ – develop tools and systems that leverage students time outside school to support learning
  3. Build out – use the content and interaction of the bricks-and-mortar environment to build the capacity for better distributed and distance learning.
  4. One-stop – provide centralized systems and services that allow the basic infrastructure for flexibility and choice.
  5. Create Capacity in the System – build the appropriate enabling components centrally that are equally available regardless of location or delivery model.

PUSH, PULL and DRAG
Collaborative learning tools that promote multiple paths to student achievement required compelling reasons for students, teachers and parents participate. These tools must have compelling content and resources (PULL). In the confusion of most information systems we cannot simple rely on users tripping over useful information. There must be a mechanism to PUSH information (email, cell phone) to participants based on known areas of interest. Finally, where PUSH and PULL fail we must have a system to DRAG participants to the new model of teaching and learning. This includes Informational blackmail, by providing vital information, Staff HR services, Student Grades, and Parental Communication only through a limited number of methods, participants must participate or risk being left out of vital information.


References

  • Department for Education and Skills (2005) Harnessing Technology: Transforming Learning and Children’s Services
  • National Association of State Boards of Education (2001) Any Time, Any Place, Any Path, Any Pace: Taking the Lead on e-Learning policy.

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