Posted by Shauna | Posted in education, learning, social media, technology | Posted on 30-03-2012
“Many individuals find little comfort in their experience with public education.”
Public education — the product of culture and history — is often scrutinized because of its hierarchical, standardized, “one shoe fits all” approach. However, with the insurgence of technology and the ease of access to like-minded individuals, the road towards educational reform is no longer a distant vision.
A short history of public education:
Industries needed workers and people needed jobs; the Industrial Revolution was taking place. Students, like the products and services of the industrial revolution, were mass produced to meet the needs of this era and public education was formed.
Learning is a process, and should not considered a means to an end:
Ken Robinson, who is one of the leading visionaries on public education and its need for change, argues that schools overvalue certain abilities (logical), while undervaluing others (artistic). Many graduate from high school with little understanding of what they’re actually good at; they are lost.
However, a new revolution is taking place – the technological era—and with this, industrialism is seeing its decline, and so too is the effectiveness of strategies and policies that schools use to educate students.
Video games, social networking and new literacy:
The internet, video games and new means of communication are highly effective when it comes to learning, why?
They allow the individual to become part of the process of learning by creating meaningful connections.
Video games, just like the internet and technology, require that one participates in their learning by focusing on what is being done, rather than simply learning a set of facts (rote memorization). They are important because they require problem solving skills through challenging situations — knowledge is derived from problems that are effectively solved.
Social identities are inextricably linked to processes of learning, which is why social networking is coming to the forefront. Social networking sites, such as Twitter, are highly influential examples of learning to do, rather than learning to know, because they require that people network and build relationships with others. People connect through their own interests and experiences and become participants in the process of knowledge acquisition, which again, creates meaningful connections.
As the future dictates that we embrace a new cultural mindset: innovation, creativity and awareness, we must collectively re-asses our values about what learning entails.