future learning documentary by GOODMagazine
so, here is another really great video on the gaps in the education system. let’s go through some key take aways:
1. the problem with the education system is fostering motivation in children.
2. dr. sugata mitra, professor of educational technology newcastle university, UK, challenges us to question what skills are actually relevant in today’s society. he makes a very interesting point that, let’s say we went back 200-300 years and told society that, ‘in 200-300 years no one will need to learn to ride a horse or shoot a gun’ and they would tell you ‘that’s impossible, these are life skills!’ and you would respond ‘the world will have changed, these things will become sport.’ will arithmetic become a sport in 2061?
dr. mitra also conducted a very cool experiment in 1999, where he set up a computer (with internet connection) in the wall of a slum neighborhood in india, in 5-6 hours time the children in the neighborhood who did not speak english, had never seen a computer, did not know what the internet was, were browsing! the take away was that children anywhere, in groups, can teach themselves to do almost anything, if given the internet, the permission to interact with each other, AND given the absence of the teacher!
dr. mitra believes that the curriculum of the future has three pillars: (1) reading comprehension, because children will be reading off screens for the rest of their lives (2) search and retrieval skills, this includes finding keywords and searching for necessary information, and (3) a refined sense of what and when to believe something, which will provide children with an armor against doctrine.
3. salman khan, founder of Khan Academy, also brings up a really important point, that in the current education model, there are a lot of innovators who are trying to take the material and present it in a more exciting way, yet they are not changing or shifting the actual content at all. sal challenges us to realize that if the material is truly interesting that it will resonate in the enthusiasm of the teacher and there will be no need for a rap song to get kids excited about it.
both him and dr. mitra reinforce the point that the current education system was build out of the age of industrialism and the victorian era. the most valuable lessons we learn from the current education system are - how to be submissive and how to learn to sit in a classroom for an hour and disengage.
4. ntiedo etuk, founder and chief executive officer of DimensionU, touches on the fascinating world of video games as a vehicle for learning and cultivating motivation. children will sit at a video game and try over and over again until they master the game, completely self-motivated. the medium of the video game creates a RELEVANT domain for the child, there is a REASON to learn something within the context of the game. in todays system, learning is removed from any relevant situation, which is one core reason why children are disengaged.
and when the video game programmers are asked how did you create such a motivating tool for children, you realize, that they weren’t thinking about the cognitive science behind it, they just created something they’d want to play.
5. great quote by dr. catherine lucey, vice dean of education at UCSF, “you should learn something when you have a reason to learn it”.
6. david merrill, president and co-founder of Sifteo, believes that play and learning go hand and hand with one another. once a child is in an environment that is playful and exploration-oriented, it puts their mind at ease and learning comes naturally.
7. richard lang, fonder of Democrasoft, discusses the importance of COLLABORATION in learning.
8. richard baraniuk, founder of Connexions, created an online system of knowledge, similar to wikipedia, so that when information needs to be modified and reworked (e.g. pluto is no longer a planet), it doesn’t take ten years to rewrite every textbook and filter to every class room, it takes ten minutes.