Dr. Bruce Chaloux, Director of Southern Regional Education Board's (SREB) Electronic Campus, posed some challenging questions in a keynote address titled,The Coming of Age of Online Learning--Now what? Based on SREB's (and Chaloux's) experience with Katrina students and other online students in SREB states, everyone in higher education should be gearing up and planning how to answer questions related to this keynote that addressed issues of "readiness". Specifically, is higher education ready for:
1. The next group of 6 year olds moving through K-12?
2. The new group of faculty entering higher education?
3. For the "in and out" employee, student, etc?
4. Students who desire flexibility and education that fits in to their schedules? i.e., not the ones we (higher ed) create?
Conversations and research surrounding how to confront the challenges of teaching and learning in the 21st century abound. One thought provoking occasional paper by Jenkins (2006) titled, Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century, is worth a read and printing out to share with others. In this exploration of "new frameworks" for student and teacher relationships current faculty may gain a better understand of how "digital technologies are changing the way young people, learn, play, socialize, and participate in civic life". Other resources that can assist exploration of the issues presented in Chaloux's keynote include Georgetown's Children's Digital Media Center chock-full of research on early childhood computer research.