Thursday, May 06, 2010

A World of False Dichotomies

The following is a seven minute rant...

I am in a workshop today related to the future of education in relation to the technology revolution and one of my tablemates is reacting negatively to the presentation because they see the ideas as being offered in opposition to traditional instruction. This reaction is largely a function of the "Yes, but..." or even "But..." without the yes mentality that we bring to so many conversations. Yes, there is a technological revolution. Yes, students have a collossal disconnect between their personal world, in which technology is largely ubiquitous, and their school world, where technology is generally absent or even oppressed (put away your electronic devices!) Yes, passive learning is bad. Yes, active learning is good.


All of the learning experiences that are facilitated by technology can take place without technology. Good instruction is good instruction no matter how it takes place.

Wait, that's a bird walk.

And... Each of the ideas that are placed on the table have at their core merit that needs to be interrogated and synthesized in a meaningful way into a coherent whole that provides meaningful experiences for students. Technology -- Yes. Collaboration -- Yes. Teacher Independence -- Yes. Unified Standards -- Yes. Student Freedom -- Yes. Student Accountability -- Yes. Etc. Etc. Etc. Yes. Integrate the new and the old. You can't reject something unless you Grok it in the first place.

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