Fascinating research on how generation Y & Z learn

3 January 2011

I just watched this video on the TED website of Professor Sugata Mitra.  Two of the great quotes in the video were:

  1. “If children have interest, then education happens,”
  2. “Students will learn what they want to learn.”

Watch the video and then I will give you my thoughts…

My Thoughts:

1. As someone who teachers on engaging generation Y and Z I was again fascinated with the research showing how well students learn when they are intrinsically motivated.

2. Sometimes teachers get too caught up on being replaced by technology – this is not the case, and I certainly don’t see that ever happening.  From my observations of teachers in my travels I think that it is a fair observation to say that as a group we resist change.

When the overhead projector became available it was a massive issue! People resisted its use in the classroom and questioned its validity as a tool in education.  Then computers and PowerPoint came along and the same teachers that resisted using overhead projectors now refused to give them up for a projector to project power point slides.  Now projectors are on the way out and we have smart boards and mobile phone technology and every step of the way 80% of the staff I have worked with complained and resisted learning how to use these tools all the way!

So whilst teachers won’t be replaced, I believe with the rapid rate of change and cheap technology available to educators if you don’t embrace what’s coming you will be left behind.

3. Whilst I appreciate that Professor Sugata Mitra states that learning takes place I believe what he is talking about is more remembering.  I would like to see the research regarding applied learning – as we all know it is one thing to be able to remember something but is a whole different skill to actually be able to apply what you have learnt! (This will be a blog post in the near future)

What are your thoughts?

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