Saturday, February 29, 2020

School, the way we know it, is passé.

Or could be! Maybe should be! For centuries teaching was done by teachers in classrooms (from one-room school houses to multi-layered brick-and-mortar lecturing facilities), facing their students, teaching by telling their audience, writing on blackboards, asking questions and making sure they understood, comprehended, and hopefully retained the knowledge presented. To a large extent today, that’s still pretty much the way general education works. No advantage has been taken of technology which has come a long way to facilitate the learning process, even improve it, speed it up, and make it more accessible geographically. Actually, there are educators stuck in their antique mode of operation who detest the idea of using technology in the learning process. They are of the opinion that a live teacher in a classroom of live learners is the only way that knowledge can be transmitted. That’s like saying, at the time of Gutenberg, that the introduction of the printed word in books is the work of the devil, and only in-person classroom teaching can truly transmit knowledge, an argument which was made then. Of course we know that transmitting knowledge via books did catch on, and has been used as technological help teaching in countless ways. A few hundred years later, now, no doubt the time has come to utilize electronic media in teaching and learning. For instance, here is what it could do today, right now, but isn’t done: In Japan schools have suddenly been closed, at least temporarily, because of the coronavirus. What if schooling there were done electronically? It would be a far safer and better way of teaching and learning than the old-fashioned way of sitting in classrooms. Here, for your examination, is one example of learning with electronic help which does exist and is making inroads into otherwise conventional education: Supporting digital inclusion Verizon Innovative Learning is giving middle school students the opportunity to explore emerging tech in the classroom, from augmented and virtual reality to 3D design and robotics. See

1 comment:

Jennifer Caswell said...

Technology has come a long way since the days of chalkboards. One of the most innovative tools many schools have is the smart board. A dry erase board with a projector that connects to your computer.
For those not familiar with this product- check out this link:
This device allows a more hands on interactive, hands on approach to learning.
Another tool schools are using is the Chromebook. Every child in our school district is assigned their own Chromebook. They take it home from elementary school on. Teachers load Google drive with textbooks, worksheets practice quizzes, etc. Children have access to an entire library that can fit in their backpack and weighs less than three pounds. It helps not only the teaching aspect, but it also teaches accountability. There are no excuses of not having the textbook to do work, not knowing what the assignment was and no lost homework because everything sits in Google docs waiting to be accessed.