Friday, June 28, 2019

I was just reading the Why Tech is not transforming Teaching and I feel that all of those thoughts and opinions are too mired in the details of school management to see the forest.  They are just seeing the trees.  A few points:

<sadly, this article is a work in progress. Want to help me finish researching and writing it? Comment here and I'll get back to you>

Almost every industry has been transformed by education with vast ongoing increases in productivity. Farming, manufacturing, retailing, communications, health care, and even government.  Education's slow movement has to do with some funny things about how schools are managed, not by any limitations of what technology is available.

While they might be right that tech has not transformed teaching, it has absolutely transformed learning. <Higher IQ, astonishing spatial reasoning and hand-eye coordination> and a flip side that kids can no longer read maps.

Technology has transformed the kids: the kids of today are wired quite differently.
Technology has transformed the skills that the kids need to succeed when they graduate. Need to be more entrepreneurial, higher lever skills, more tech skilled. The highly repetitive disciplined jobs of yesteryear which we use to train people for: GONE!

Big picture: I love the story of the big foundation study in the last year which did a broad state of education study and found that the students were .... <drum roll> .... very bored by school. From late elementary school through the end of high school, students across the spectrum and country reported school was dull and didn't feel relevant or important except for the credential.

The study followed up by looking at  the nation's so called innovative schools and found... the same thing!  They then took a closer look at the data and found a countertrend. In every school, including the conventional ones, there was a streak of high interest activities.  What were they?  Well, we all know the answer and its sort of amazing that this doesn't have a higher profile in our discussions about education.... It's the electives and supplementary programs.   The robotics program, the coding program, the theater program, the music program, the school newspaper, and of course, sports. 

So how to think about education and the impact of technology. 
- if you are black, do you care about a US history text book in which the first half of the book is all those white dudes and the only blacks are details about the start of slavery?   Why not ask them to create real US history which shows how they got here? Their history.  The research on this is that it produces highly motivated students plus much better mastery of US history as measured on conventional tests....

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