New Learning Times

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The future of learning, GOOD-style

by Joann Agnitti

December 18, 2012

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They call it drill and kill for a reason.

The current model of education does nothing to motivate students. Its reliance on rote memorization, one-size-fits-all strategies, and the ubiquitous-yet-outdated "3 R’s" do little to push the learning agenda forward. At least, so say the education thought leaders featured in this video from GOOD. Together, they demonstrate that where education fails, innovation prevails.

Salman Khan, best known for his video-based, low-tech online learning academy, will be the first to tell you that content is king, platform secondary. In fact, he skewers those within the edtech field who feel that, in order to unlock the mysteries of learning, all you need to do is use the latest state-of-the-art technologies.

The future of learning is more than slapping an online course on the web and calling it revolutionary; it’s about creating learning experiences specifically designed for an online environment. Technology, when not wasted, will be a key component of the shift towards a new era, where learning occurs via video games, interactive cubes, digital textbooks, and collaboration. Students, as Dr. Sugata Mitra posits in the video, will be "armed against doctrine," where exploration and curiosity preside over passivity and routine.

What do you think the future of learning holds? We want to hear from you. Jump into the ongoing discussion on Vialogues and add your thoughts.

@00:00 daseinpbc: We definitely need to change the way we think about thinking and the importance of ushering in a new way of learning. Let's face it - what we have is not working!

@00:15 ckaratnytsky: based on Sugata Mitra's comments about three fundamentals of learning (reading comprehension, information search and retrieval skills, and critical assessment skills, or "how to believe," as he puts it), I feel reassured that depth knowledge and critical thinking are not being abandoned in the drive for advancement in other areas. So far, so good.

@8:57 Spumoni: This is so true. Going through the education system, and now watching other children go through it, submission is what's generally rewarded. Speaking up, out, and challenging teachers almost always results in lowered grades (for attitude) and phone calls home. How can a child retain motivation to learn if they're forced to sit and listen to someone speaking at them for hours?