This is why education must change

When I saw this hyperlink at the bottom of another webpage I thought it was a joke but had to check it out to make sure.

Here is a young child (about 1 year old) interacting with an iPad and then with a magazine.  Even at a young age, this child already knows how to interact with a tablet.  She can make the dashboard move from one page to another.  When given a magazine she tries to manipulate the objects on the page just like she does with the iPad.

Now, let’s fast-forward 4 years to when she enters kindergarten (keep in mind the rest of the world is now playing with the iPad 5 or something even cooler we haven’t even dreamed about).  She is at the bus stop and while waiting is playing an alphabet game on her iPad.  When she gets to the letter “h” and picture of a horse jumping, she wants to know how a horse can jump so high.  WIth her parent’s help, they do a quick YouTube search for horses jumping.  They watch a video of how a horse’s muscle work to make it jump.  The little girl gets so excited and has to share what she learned with someone else in the family.  She checks Skype and see that grandma is available.  She and grandma video chatting until she hears the bus.  The bus arrives and she has to quickly gives the iPad back to her mother.  She enters school and does not have another opportunity to use this kind of technology (or the self directed learning she was doing at the bus stop) until she returns home.

What can teachers and schools do to prepare for this kind of learn?  Here’s the other bit–we already have learns like the one above.  How can teachers and schools continue to develop this sense of self-learning?

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3 thoughts on “This is why education must change

  1. I saw this video during a professional development day on Wednesday. Were the teachers watching excited, interested, thinking about how they could incorporate technology and the apparent accompanying motivation into their classroom? NOPE! The predominant response went something like…”Great, that kid won’t know how to use a book and probably won’t know how to write either.” Unfortunately, those in our class are in the minority within education. We often see the potential of innovations where many of our peers see the death of the tried-and-true worksheet, outdated textbook, and teacher centered classroom environment. Here’s hoping we can help be part of the change that is so needed.

  2. Your sentence that she will not have another opportunity to experience this type of self directed discovery is really sad. It goes back to brain research that they are proving that physically brain structure is changing and kids will not learn and communicate in the same ways that generations before them did. I say last night on 60 minutes this story about the use of ipads for kids with autism. Many of the children who did not speak would use the ipad to interact. Children with autism are obviously an extreme on the communication spectrum but it got me thinking about how many of my students are more comfortatble communicating through electronic means. I understand that for many people it is sad to think that something will be lost but it is just a shift that we are going to have to accept. We can no more stop the electronic age than we could the industrial revolution.

  3. It is concerning that many parents resist introducing technology like this to their children because they buy into the argument that quick access to handheld technology will make them socially inept. Students used to take home, from their one- room schoolhouse classroom, their hand-held chalk boards ( Remember “Little House on the Prairie”). I expect that students will soon be taking home assignments on their I Pads or other hand- held technologies. Just think, no down time on a snow day. Students could log in to their classrooms subject by subject at a certain time and not have to make up snow days. I have seen no adverse effects of hand held technology on my 4 year old who loves to play my teen’s Nintendo DS or play a game on his cell phone. She is just as social and interactive with her peers as she always been. Speaking of snow, we may get some tonight. Thanks for sharing that very interesting video!

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