In my household, the new school year begins today. The backpacks in the picture are empty, except for lunch.
This summer, I’ve spent quite a bit of time in the “tech world.” I am doing this because I believe that those backpacks will be better filled with technology than books, binders, pencils and paper. The possibilities for education are tremendous.
“Learn Differently” is the guiding concept for me in all things. For 25+ years, I have studied brain based research and the implications for learning. While our overall knowledge of the brain is not complete, there are things we know for sure. The primary finding which affects us is this: we all learn differently.
Public Education in the United States of America was developed to fill a specific need: a workforce educated for industrial work in the early 20th century. It has not evolved, even as brain research expanded and our economic base has shifted. Our education system is still a one size fits all model, and is still focused on skills needed for factory labor. As a result, the United States is woefully inadequate as an educated population as shown by this infographic on the state of education . America will not continue to be a world power if our students are not educated enough to qualify to serve in our armed forces, manage finances, or work in the jobs which will exist when they leave schools.
Education reform is a term which has existed since I began school. The term is popular, but the actions have not followed. This is for a multitude of reasons, which we don’t need to cover here. I do believe we are on the cusp of true education reform, because it cannot be stopped. Technology is improving at an unprecedented pace which will not slow, and which will enable every single person to learn differently. No longer will we “pile on curriculum and expect a student to get better.” Nor will we be able to hold back information from an inquisitive student. For a quick and fascinating video on the changes technology will bring to education, click here.
So, what will we fill those backpacks with?
I’ll cover specifics in upcoming posts. Stay tuned!