Technology Is Changing Education, All Over The World
Rebecca Winthrop and Allison Anderson of the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution present an interesting vision of how technology will change education all over the world:
“Schools will be only one venue for learning in the future. The role of schools in developing the skills and capacities of young people is changing. Technology has opened access to learning opportunities that were previously unattainable.
Girls in rural Pakistan can study by text message even if they cant leave their homes in insecure areas. Children in rural Ghana can access the worlds libraries through an e-reader even when they have no books in their school or house. The future of education will be less about bringing children to schools which has been a major focus in the first set of Millennium Development Goals [set by the United Nations] and more about bringing learning to children.
Teachers will do more coaching and guiding and less lecturing. Those in developed countries who are pushing the bounds of open educational resources argue that, in the future, young people should be doing their homework at school (where teachers and peers can problem solve together) and learning their lessons at home (via video or other means).
Two decades from now the lines between formal education and non-formal education could be so blurred that we may abandon the distinction all together and only discuss learning and equity in accessing quality learning opportunities.” (Read more here.)
I find Winthrop and Anderson’s vision intriguing, but I do take issue with their oversimplified idea of what happens when students are “learning their lessons.” The authors suggest that this apparently passive absorption of information could just as well be done at home by video, while the “real” learning that happens when students solve problems should happen at school.
Actually, teaching a lesson is, or should be, an active process of asking questions, checking for understanding, addressing misconceptions, pushing students another step forward. Why keep the lecture but simply move it on to video?