Thursday, December 1, 2011

Learning to Change - Changing to Learn

What is school? Traditionally, and even so today in many places, it is a physical space where children are taught to memorize the "right" answers and expected to show what they  know through standardized testing. Yet the reality is that children are growing up in a rapidly changing world where they have easy access to an overwhelming amount of information (much of it very authentic and empowering), can connect and collaborate with people around the world, are faced with difficult problems with no simple solutions, and seek to express themselves in whole new ways with amazing new tools. 

     These videos highlight the challenges to education in the modern world and how children wish to learn. Is it not time we make learning (not education) the center of what schools are all about? 

Here are some of my favorite quotes:
Kids are very rich content developers today through their social networking sites. They're big communicators through email, instant messaging and text messaging. And yet all of those things are banned from their schools. 
It's about relationship. It's about community. It's about connectivity. It's about access.
We've got a classroom system when we could have a community system.
They will be doing work that calls on their artistic abilities; that calls on their abilities of synthesis; that calls on their abilities of understanding context; that calls on their abilities in working in teams; that calls on their abilities in some sense to be multidisciplinary, multilingual, multicultural.
The coin of the realm will not to memorizing the facts that their gonna know for the rest of their lives. The coin of the realm will be do you know to find information, do you know how to validate it, do you know how to synthesize it, do you know how to leverage it, do you know how to communicate it, do you know how to collaborate with it, do you know how to problem-solve with it. That's the new 21st century set of literacies and it looks a lot different than the model that most of us were raised in. 
Now we're looking at a whole different range of schools. We're looking at schools that are producing genius, collaborative, gregarious, brave children who care about stuff, like their culture ... Around the world, people are testing out the ingredients of what makes that work and those ingredients are being assembled into just some stunning recipes in different places. It's a very exciting time for learning. The death of education but, it's the dawn of learning and that makes me very happy.