Avoiding Obsolescence

How do we make changes in public education that will transcend the model of education that is so entrenched in many of our schools? There are no easy answers.  Many people outside of the education profession believe we need to do more of the same, for more hours, using the efficiencies that technology affords that process to somehow make it better.  Instruct, measure, adjust….repeat—Simple formula.  The ed-reform story made popular today is centered on what is measured in American schools and how it does not equal what is measured elsewhere.  Current reform-minded-thinking espouses that those who staff our institutions are the problem.  Teachers cannot (or will not) instruct, students do not get what they need, measurement results are comparatively poor.  As a result, pop-reformers want to take the obsolete transaction of teacher gives knowledge-student takes knowledge-school measures knowledge gained model and make it work #morebetterharder, in a standardized way. In a time before the ubiquitous availability of information, this type of transaction for learning was worth the cost for students, teachers and our economy.  The conditions have changed.  Technology can make that kind of education more efficient.  SO WHAT!  Kids today can access any information they want when it is wanted.  BUT, can they effectively learn to share, co-create, explore, and make new meaning as well as have meaningful experiential learning via on-line modes only?  Where do those skills and experiences fit into the model of education that is being pushed today?  Environments that are conducive to a learning experience that is deeper and more meaningful, that go beyond simple instruction and regurgitation are not so simple. Public education needs to embrace those aspects of a learning culture that can’t be made more efficient by a bunch of computers that programmatically measure a century’s old pedagogy’s affect on student knowledge acquisition.   There is certainly a richness that can occur in a live classroom, or at least a class that blends live instruction with online instruction, that cannot be matched by a Kahn Academy-styled program based on century’s old learning models.  What I do know is this; we have to offer an alternative change model that contrasts with those being offered by the politician-corporate reformers.  We need to talk about learning and define those skills which today’s students need to construct the world that they choose to build.  The initiative may be daunting, but if we do not under take it, who will?  If we continue to do instruction as it has been done for the past 100 years, we are ensuring our own obsolescence.

overseas cialis

Picture made available via bupowski’s photostream on Flickr

1 comment for “Avoiding Obsolescence

  1. November 26, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    We need to begin to train our teachers to deliver instruction to today’s “Digital Kids: in new and cost effective ways. Start a Pilot Program and give them Professional Development in person and online to help them become 21st Century Digital Teachers using tablets, eTextbooks embedded inside an easy to use and inexpensive Learning Management System blended with face to face guided instructions.

    School Districts can save millions of dollars by moving to eTextbooks and training teachers in all the right ways how to use them effectively engage students and get them excited about learning again raising test scores in the process because eTextbooks come with embedded learning resources like instructions from the Khan Academy and others to tutor and help learn math and other content specific skills.

    This is in addition to instructional websites, audio recordings, student collaboration. Open Source eTextbooks are designed to the new core standards and are much less expensive that traditional textbooks and are only updated every four to six years which in many cases makes the content outdated the minute they are printed.

    To see a short overview of how all of this works please visit our company website and watch our video about starting a Pilot Program in your school district. Once you play the video click in the bottom right corner to enlarge to full screen. http://www.digitaltechnologysystems.com

    Thanks for listening…..Jim Knight/Teacher/Digital Entrepreneur
    jim@digitaltechnologysystems.com 707-334-1955

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *