An Open Letter to Educators

In the post a few days ago on the technology debate in the classroom I referred to an article showing that 2 of the top 12 performing Primary Schools in NSW are based on the Rudolf Steiner philosophy of education which actively discourages the use of technology in the classroom.  The point of that post was that we need to be open minded to all philosophies of teaching and be comfortable enough to embrace other ideas not just the latest and greatest.

There has been a fair bit of discussion on that post on a few LinkedIn groups that I am a member of.  Most of the discussion has been about what role should technology play in education.  Should technology drive the education agenda or just be one of the tools available to a teacher to use or not use according to their philosophy and interests.

But that is not the whole story…maybe the greater question is “Does education need a radical overhaul and do more than just adopt a few new tools?”

I watched this video last night and thought I would put it up here for you.  The video is made by an ex university student who comments on the relevancy of education in the 21st century.

I must say that I love his conviction and passion, and believe he makes a good argument.  I have posted the highlights for you below the video

Here are the highlights for you…

0.25 – An explanation of why universities were the hub of information.

1.10 – The value of information is going down (Dan argues that if you want the information that universities and educational institutions have you can pay to gain access to that information – I had never thought of it in this way before.) If this is the case the increase in information becoming freely available is driving its value down.

3.10 – Industry and government are taking steps to embrace the information age – what are educational institutions doing?

3.50 – Educational institutions need to do more than just adopt a few new tools

4.45 – Society no longer cares how many facts you can memorise because in the information age these facts are now free.

5.40 – Dan says that he dropped out of university because it was interfering with his education.

I would like to point out that regardless of what you think of the way in  which education takes place; the fact still remains that for most of those businesses and institutions that are embracing the ‘revolution’ they still require the piece of paper that those educational institutions provide! Ironic hey.

What are your thoughts?

Logic Branching in Google Forms – Get the info you really want in the most efficient way!

Google Forms are a simple yet powerful way to collect information from people. An often overlooked feature is ‘logic branching’, where people are directed to different parts of a Form, based on how they answer. In this example we look at collecting information from parents but branching is also great for student writing (Pick-a-Path), student agency and talking about computational thinking.

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