I recently read a book called Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology. The authors give a historical overview of education in the U.S. – from apprenticeship to the current factory-model that Americans know. They make the claim in this book that school as we know it is changing, and it’s changing because we’ve entered the technological revolution. In fact, they believe that education is going through its own revolution.
They address barriers to using technology in education; but, they focus on the current bricks & mortar educational system when they discuss these barriers. It isn’t until very late in the book that they begin to explore how students can learn differently and in self-directed ways.
The subtopics in the last chapter are: rethinking learning, rethinking motivation, rethinking what is important to learn, rethinking careers, rethinking the transitions between learning and work, rethinking educational leadership, rethinking the role of government in education, and their vision for the future. Their vision: stretch thinking capacities to include broader technological use in education. Ummmm- aren’t we already doing that?
Granted, education must change, and it must include technology to an extent that just isn’t doing yet; but, we all know that education moves at a glacial pace. I don’t think including more technology “in the classroom” is what we need. I think teachers need to learn how to use technology and they need to become mentors so that they can allow students to be self-directed. The traditional role of teacher must change. We should be coaches. Maybe our educational system needs to revert back to the apprenticeship system – with a few little tweaks here and there.