Sunday, October 28, 2012

Click, Swipe, Touch and Learn

Source: ASIDE, 2012
It's been almost a year since we published our post "Is 2012 the Year for an Educational (R)Evolution?", and what did we get? For one, we got the Common Core standards being pushed into schools, and two, teacher evaluations based on student performance on standardized bubble tests.

We live in a world of digital media, global brands, and 24/7 connectivity. The power of children to teach themselves using technology wields more capability than anything we might have imagined, and it exerts more pressure to change than ever before on the teachers, the schools, and the educational system.

With the growing number of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) on the heels of higher education, the mounting use of resources such as Khan Academy, and the increasing realization that blended learning is no longer novel but necessary, we still see restrictions on the use of websites and devices by school administrations.

Robin Sloan and Matt Thompson produced the Epic 2014 video in 2004 to predict the future of media. Aside from a few name changes, it is eerily close to the changes we've seen over the last eight years. This year Bill Sam wrote and narrated The Future of Education: Epic 2020. The video starts with the same opening line from A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, "It is the best of times, it is the worst of times." Instead of media, it predicts the future of education with the same melodious tone, taking the viewer through a strangely similar scenario that does not seem so far off, perhaps even fewer than the eight years of the earlier Epic 2014.

Today's learner is different. It doesn't matter if you are only three and a half feet tall, you are a force to be reckoned with when it comes to education. Watch any toddler use an tablet; they swipe and touch with ease.

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