Dewey in the Cloud

PRAGMATIST EDUCATIONAL THEORY AND E-LEARNING
Author:
Julija Naskova
Company/School:
Hong Kong Polytechnic University School of Design

Julija Naskova
Hong Kong Polytechnic University School of Design

1.  INTRODUCTION

One hundred years ago John Dewey wrote the book Democracy and Education establishing the principles necessary to govern an improved and democratic education system (1944).  His ideas travelled across the world and inspired educators in Brazil, Japan, China and Turkey (Popkewitz, 2005).  Besides democratizing education, Dewey’s focus was on experience in learning and its connection to student reflection.  At the present time, we look up to the Cloud as the technology that will help revolutionize education.  Multiple research is done to analyze different aspects of Cloud computing and its application in education.  Most of the researchers focus on its technical advantages and how to make the system more viable.  They scarcely emphasize the need to design a new structure regarding how Cloud technology can be integrated in education (Al-Zoube, 2009).  Researchers are also conflicted regarding how to evaluate an online education course; does a survey give them the right answers or observing students throughout the course length offer more insight (Bishop & Verleger, 2013).

 This paper presents the author’s e-learning experience at a community college in the United States through the auto-ethnographic method (Chang, 2008).  The first case study is an analysis of the free online education program by Stanford University called “Stanford Online” (Stanford University, n.d.-a)  coupled with an informal interview with a non-USA based student of an online course offered through Coursera to present yet another perspective.  Finally, a second case study introduces Flipped Learning as an alternative model that blends traditional classroom with Cloud education.  These cases of Cloud education are evaluated for their capacity to complement Dewey’s pragmatist educational theory.  Further analysis of experiential learning as linked to Dewey’s concept of reflection is conducted.  The purpose of this research is to assess how industrial design education can best benefit from...read more.