There’s no doubt there is more than a murmur regarding a revolution in education all over the world. Led by activists, thought leaders, teachers and courageous students this change is beginning to demolish the walls of our old school system, and redefine what it means to learn and teach.
To name a few, people like Sir Ken Robinson, Richard Gerver, and Rogan Jacobson are all leading the education revolution which will come in many forms in order to fit the many different needs of students today. I’ve even started to lead my own little revolution called Reinventing School with a bunch of like-minded individuals from all over the world.
I’ve spent a great deal of time exploring online technologies designed for learning and played with many myself. This week I published my very first online course using Udemy in the form of a Design Thinking Challenge for students all over the world to participate in.
One interesting hot topic is blended learning. Blended learning encourages a good mix of different learning environments and uses multiple mediums like mobile technologies such as smartphones, along with blogs and video conferencing like Skype Education. Blended learning is exciting and often includes hybrid courses to improve the quality of learning, making learning independent, relevant, generative and collaborative.
Another topic close to my heart is ‘opening the gates’ of the school to make school a community hub. Teaching and learning in out-of-school contexts, and exploring opportunities to make real contributions to community tied to learning outcomes has great potential. Young people want to understand that what they are learning has relevance and meaning in their lives and one way to show this is to inspire them to find ways to connect with their community and learn at the same time.
All this revolution stuff got me thinking about how I might engage youth to lead an education revolution from within and what tools they will want to use and need to use to make this effective.
What if we could equip them with a set of tools to advocate for change and help shape how they learn, communicate and connect in and out of the classroom?
What would be the most useful of all?
The one single tool I think they will get the most benefit from is the tablet computer. I had the opportunity to play with the new Motorola Zoom (running 0n Android Honeycomb) this week and I think it is built and priced to be perfect for students. Tablets have come so far in the past 24 months and there are even companies like BrainChild learn creating Android tablets for educational purposes.
What do you think? Are schools broken, is there a need for new approaches to learning?
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