Sunday, February 04, 2007

Connected by broadband, slow in applications (4)

I was eager to learn about the connection between broadband and education. The educational field has always been following. A lot of money has been pumped into the area, machines, devices, software and content. In The Netherlands we have a special network for schools, Kennisnet, for primary and secondary schools and SURFnet for the universities and colleges.

In this area there is a lot of dreaming and reality. Many of the school administrators dream of fabulous programs. At the session there was an official of a hotel college, who would love to have links ins and links outs to their own kitchen department in such a way that cooks could remotely teach more than one college, while students could observe the kitchen brigade and the cook at night. The official was realistic enough to recognise that broadband should be used all over in the college by the college management, the teachers and instructors and remotely by the colleagues of top restaurants. Of course the students would also use broadband; but they would do that all the same for their own fun; but they should also be taught how to collaborate with other students locally, nationally and internationally by working on assignments.

This model is okay and covers the natural column in the school. However it does not cover the entire trade column. In the hotel college, outside cooks are interesting as they can deliver apprenticeships and internships. Yet they will have to cover the whole value column and control the quality of delivered goods. But it is not only the value column of the hotels and restaurants; on the other hand the system would also have to make transparent what the student knows and does not know.

Cees Morsch, CEO of Case Builders, stresses that in education the students should be analysed for the gap between what they know and what they should know. The gap between education and business should be transparent, so that the students can learn oriented towards competencies and functions and apply blended learning. In this way the student should be prepared for the future. The system is being applied in an education learning environment in the South of the Netherlands. And, if we can believe Cees Morsch (from way-back CD-I experience I can vouch for him), the results are better than traditional classical teaching. The amount of drop-outs has decreased dramatically; there are still drop-outs, but their number has been dramatically lowered.

Blog Posting Number: 654

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