Learning with technology or learning with infinite information?

Will Richardson makes the point that we work in a system that was built in an age of scarcity, but we now live in an age of abundance. His point is that our educational system was built at a time where you had to go to school to learn. That's where the information was. They did not have a source of information that could be individually accessed. But, now, we do. The internet houses the entirety of our shared knowledge. School is not necessary for learning, and some would say that it is, in fact, detrimental to learning.

Second point, we try to label education in ways that will fool us into thinking that it has changed when they have not. We have 21st century, next generation, future ready, digital labels that hope to "transform" education, but do nothing of the sort. We try to shoehorn technology into traditional instructional practice. We move from multiple choice to a Google form. We move from had written note cards to PowerPoint. The tools change but the instruction does not. We beat our head against the substitution level of SAMR and see no reason to look higher.

When is it that we will stop applying adjectives to the front of learning? We will not be able to reform education until we radically alter instruction. Content takes a back seat because Google has it all and the focus on training expert learners. The biggest benefit of that Chromebook in your lap is not that it digital. It's that it opens your students to infinite information. Now, they just need to know what to do with it .

Your thoughts are welcomed and encouraged.

Dane Barner


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