I believe that the Flat World, Flat Web, Flat Schools keynote was a hit yesterday, in that it connected with issues of distance learning professionals. I was concerned, as I am with every address, but especially with audiences whose work is somewhat different from my experiences. But we’re all in the process of re-inventing ourselves and what we do as educators, and distance learning folks are still joyously inventing their work and tools for the very first time. We all need new, large, and slightly off-kilter ideas to keep us thinking.
The one miss is the fact that many in the audience are involved in teaching students who are not millennials, who are old, even as old as me. The statement that many of our students are more literate than we are, from the perspective of their information landscape, does not fit. However, it is critical to understand that even when we are teaching adults, helping them to develop their teaching skills or retooling for a new job, we are preparing them for a future that will be dominated by people who have grown up with information experiences that are difficult for must of us (over 35) to imagine. We have to understand it.