Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Time space and e-learning

Over the weekend I actually read (rather than skimmed the first 2 pages) of Peter Goodyear's "Technology and the articulation...time, space and e-learning" (very long article title) from Continuing Ed July 2006. Have to say the most valuable part of this was actually the stuff about knowledge and has a fabulous critique of simplifications of knowledge conceptions. Here the discussion is careful and clear, ensuring we understand and appreciate the subtle differences between knowledge types.

Having read this part of the paper I was expecting great things...like a compressed version of Stephen Kern's culture of time and space (2003) only re. e-learning. But there was a combination of a couple of disturbing things, a couple of useful things and one confusing thing.

1. Disturbing things: A very bold and apparently incontrovertable declaration that there has (only) been two time-space compressions...though when I realised the first one was from 1850 all the way to 1914 this is a little more plausible. But the very sweeping approach to the developments in time and space in the 19th and early 20th centuries and the relationship of this to distance education made me think there were potential relationships there that could use a little more thoughts and investigation.

2. Useful things: the very thoughtful and insightful discussion of the value of co-presence, the trade-offs and the need for flexibility was excellent and beats those of us over the head (ie. me...) who have wide-eyedly (is this a word...can you wide-eyedly do something?) declared flexibility is clearly better than not-flexible. Also that anytime/anywhere may not mean all that much (another area requiring further investigation I felt)

3. Confusing thing: I can't figure out what the relationship is between the knowledge types and time and space. Maybe I didn't read as well as I sort-of tried to (like whipping out the article in the moments I sat alone waiting for lunch to arrive and things like that...).

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