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"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." - Arthur C. Clarke

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Schools, like newspapers, must adapt or die

Thoughts about the inevitable march of technology and how it will dramatically change the landscape of our schools...

Technology will force physical schools to adapt and go online and morph and change or die, similar to newspapers. If you look at how radically technology is changing the face of the newspaper industry, who can say it won't have the same effect on our school system? With so much content "going digital" isn't it just a matter or time before schools morph their ways "online" with "distance learning" and the like? How will that change our schools physically? What will teachers become?

And when we do produce online content, with M.I.T. and Yale and Harvard offering free online content of a wide variety of courses, how can small schools distinguish themselves and produce any content of value that will make people want to go online and learn from them and not the big boys or others who have already produced content?

What's the goal, the one unifying everything that we need from technology? It's really quite simple... One device with ubiquitous access to information via the internet. That's all we need. Paper, gone. Books, gone. Turning in physical anything, gone. With your one device (be it a tablet, a laptop, a kind of iTouch) you will be able to access and share information and collaborate. This is all you or anyone will need.

And while we're at it, one of technologies greatest promises is the way it will inform and transform student/teacher collaboration with its assessment tools. Assessment is one of the key components of technology in education. It will be big. It's time to start mining the information highway for visionary ideas on student assessment.

One more important piece of the puzzle! If kids are communicating via social networking what will become of traditional email? They don't even really use it. It's kind of "old school." We have to meet them on their turf and that is quickly becoming on Facebook and Twitter and the like, not dusty old linear email...

Well that's my two cents...

4 comments:

Kris said...

We are already noticing that kids today don't know how to interact with other people. Manners have gone by the wayside and common courtesy seems to be near extinction. As fabulous as all the new technology is, we are losing some extremely valuable contacts with actual human beings.
Just MY two cents.
KA

Sam said...

The part about email was brought up by Nathan Johnson at a faculty meeting earlier this year or last year. He was immediately contradicted by several faculty, but I fully agree with him.

Interesting points Keith.

Blake said...

What becomes of what we learn about social interactions? Or creating something with your hands? Or the synergy developed when students and teachers are together? Where will that take place?

Keith said...

Wow, feedback! Thanks people. Glad I could get the discussion going!