Well, I watched a series of YouTube videos of some of Europe’s top educators at an annual conference they have each and every year. In fact, I watched several years-worth of these conference symposium videos (about 40 between 30 minutes and 1-hour each) and I was amazed at how much on the leading edge of technology they were in some regards and how backwards they were in traditional education on the other side of that coin. It’s as if elementary, middle, and high school education is having a tough time figuring out its new direction, or even its future viability.
Many schools are now integrating technology into the classroom, which I would say is a good thing, but it seems we are experimenting with a whole generation of kids, it’s as if we don’t know exactly what we are doing yet, what is working, what isn’t, and there are a lot of headstrong traditionalists in education that will go with the flow, or adapt as new technologies come onto the scene.
Meanwhile, academia which also loves to specialize in educational sciences wants to do more studies, tests, and research before the implementation of anything. By the time they can do their research we will be onto the next thing, and then the next, and then the next, and where will our children be? They will be all grown up, and then it will be too late, but we can save the next generation – that is if the technology doesn’t go too fast, and make their previous education obsolete, which is what is happening right now while they attempt to figure out what they are going to do.
One of the most interesting things that I learned when watching three years-worth of these videos was the drastic changes that occurred in the interim. Each year more information came to light, most of it common sense that every single student, parent, and anyone in the real world already knows, but education is slow to adapt. For instance, this was just in the news the other day;
Science Daily had an interesting article on November 25, 2012 titled; “Online Learning Strategies of Male and Female Students,” which stated;
“Utilizing computers as a tool in education appears to be gaining momentum. There appears to be varying levels of interest in this method of online learning. This study attempted to investigate the relationship and differences (if any) of five variables, motivation, self-monitoring, internet literacy, internet anxiety and concentration of students when engaging in online studying.”
Now then, whereas all of this makes sense and the methodology appears good, I wonder what else they are not factoring in, there seems to be more to it. What about group learning using technology? You see, any time someone says that there are only two, three, four, or even five variables and then they work to define those variables, this should be a red flag. Who says there are only five variables? The person doing the research, and why did they say that? So they can prove themselves right obviously.
Any time someone starts numbering things, trying to convince you of their vast knowledge and research, you should stop them and ask them straight up; how do you know that the limited set of variables that you chose, or points of contention you raised are the only ones? Then listen to their explanation, and if they insist that there are no more numbers are variables, stop listening, they don’t know what they’re talking about. The real world doesn’t work that way. And I would submit to you we need more vision education. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.