Wednesday, January 20, 2016

We've Broken Education

I need to climb up on my soapbox for just a moment to vent.  Those of us in the ed-tech world go around touting how great technology is for education.  But guess what?  It's not going to fix a broken system.  The spirit of wonder and learning has been shattered by the need to label, test and standardize.  We celebrate those educators who take risks and step outside the box.  Yet the leaders of education do nothing to explore what makes these individuals unique.  We need a system that is tuned into today's student and their unknown futures.  No Wordle, Animoto or Kahoot is going to fix that.
Say what you want about previous generations, but there was a simpler time when the stakes didn't seem as high.  A time before the digital age, filled with encyclopedias and yes even dioramas, where kids were genuinely curious about what made their world tick.  Now that information is a few clicks and Google searches away.
We need to get back to a time before worksheets.  On one of my kids recent homework assignments, the question was asked "Explain how you divided 12 counters into equal groups" His response was: "I read what the box said" and drew an arrow to the words "Say out loud: 12 divided by 3 is 4" REALLY?! Yet we send these worksheets home every night in the name of Common Core State Standards.  This has got to stop!  We need to cease the practice of providing students with all the answers expecting them to regurgitate knowledge and instead instill that since of wonder that seemingly has disappeared.  We need to stop trying to shoehorn kids into what we think the world needs to be when we have no clue what the world will look like in 10 years?!
So here's my question: How the heck do we do that?  I'll get off my soap box now and wait for your insightful responses.
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