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Posts Tagged ‘21st century schools’

Education in the age of information surplus

June 14, 2011 1 comment

I am not sponsored by TED, I promise. However, I really enjoy embedding videos in posts and TED makes it easy to do so. Today I typed in “education” into the TED search box and after a little browsing I found this talk about teaching.  My favorite theme of knowledge transmission versus transformation appears as Laufenberg gives us her brief family history of educational experiences and while many have responded to this shift with efforts to improve 21st century skills and put more technology in the classroom, I think the question proposed by Laufenberg hits the nail on the head.

“What do you do when the information is all around you? Why do you have kids come to school if they no longer have to come there to get the information?”

Of course, this would presuppose two things. The first being that the kids are already literate and the second is that they have consistent access to the “surplus of information.” Provided these two conditions exist, what is the reason for having kids come to school?

Is it to…

  • pass on cultural heritage?
  • babysit?
  • socialize?
  • educate?
  • stratify?
  • prepare?
  • cultivate lifelong learners?
  • promote progress?
  • maintain the status quo?

I don’t know, but I do think the new landscape of information and technology demands that we reconsider our old answers.

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