Sunday, March 1, 2009

Forbes: On computer-based instruction

I just found this Forbes Magazine article, dated August 11, 2008,
"Creative Disruption: How to Change the Way Kids Learn" by
Clayton Christensen, Michael Horn and Curtis Johnson

An excerpt:

"In the 1800s teachers in a one-room schoolhouse would have no problem customizing their approach to each student. But at the turn of the 19th century, as schools filled up with 30 or 40 kids in a room, standardization became the norm. Schools turned into factories and ever since have resisted all efforts to break from a monolithic batch-process approach. Students who succeed today do so because their intelligence happens to match the dominant paradigm in use in a particular classroom, or they've somehow found a way to adapt to it.

"If the goal is to educate all students so they have an all-American shot at realizing their dreams, we must find a way to disrupt the monolithic classroom and move toward a student-centric model. The way to get there is with computer-based learning. Technology offers students the ability to learn in ways that match their intelligence types in the places and at the pace they prefer. The hardware exists. The software is emerging. Now all that has to change is the system around it. Change will face mighty resistance, but we predict it will happen in the next ten years."

Click here for the complete article.

Clayton M. Christensen is professor of business administration at the Harvard Business School. Michael B. Horn is executive director of education at Innosight Institute. Curtis W. Johnson is the president of Citistates Group. They are coauthors of Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns (McGraw-Hill, 2008).

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