Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Education Renaissance

Here's an well-articulated vision of a tech-assisted education renaissance from David Warlick:

* Students actively pursue learning — Our children’s intrinsic curiosity does not go away by middle school. Instead it is refined, because we come to understand that curiosity is a potent source of energy to be harnessed for education. Further more, we empower learners with access to content and tools to work the content in order to satisfy their curiosity and the other needs of growing children and young adults.

* Teachers become learning consultants - managers and modelers of learning — Regardless of what that introduction implies, teachers stop looking like managers and start to become partners in their classrooms. They are consultants who help their students learn to teach themselves (It’s the best thing they can learn to do today). Teachers can do this, because they too become empowered with access to content and the tools to work the content, and are connected to dynamic networks of professional collaboration. Teachers explore, experiment, and discover along with their students, even if they already know the material. They always learn something new and celebrate it with their students.

* Classrooms become learning engines — We stop relying on laws of physics — mass & momentum — to drive learning, and instead, cultivate our classrooms into learning engines. I believe that we are going to learn a lot about this as we start to pay attention to video games. We will learn what it is about highly interactive games that make children (and adults) want to learn, and begin to infect our classrooms with these same elements of need.

* Schools become museums of learning — School will cease to be citadels of learning. Instead, they will turn themselves inside-out and become an integral part of their communities. They will come to mirror their communities as the communities come to mirror them. People will see not only the raw data of the traditional assessments of their children’s most basic information skills, but also the relics that result from the real learning that happens afterward, the learning that happens as students begin to lay the tracks to their future.

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