As of last month, everybody in my family now carries a smartphone. Both of my kids are now at an age to care for their equipment and be responsible in its use (I hope!). Not all of us know how to use the device to its fullest capacity, but we have the basics covered with texting, checking email, Google maps and heaven forbid, actually making a call.
By now you are thinking, so what, this is not a new concept!
Our family is at a key transition point. After having a land line for so long, and choosing to get rid of it, how can this work? My husband is worried that if he wants to call home to talk to the boys after school, how is he going to reach them? My first reaction was that he just needs to call them on their smartphone (or if he really wanted a reply – to send them a text!).
I thought a little more about my initial response and I realized this is a great example of how we all fall into the “well that is the way it has always been done” thinking. Which brings me to my real focus for this post – the need to break free from that old way of thinking and embrace technology for the benefit of advancing education.
Here are two great examples of paradigm shifts in the typical learning model –
- Salman Khan has created the Khan Academy, which offers a series of educational videos with complete curricula in math and other subjects, that allow the student to move at the their own pace. This model allows the student to master each lesson before moving onto the next session, therefore understanding 100% of the content before moving on. Here is a TED conference talk with Salman describing his approach.
- On a more advanced learning path, Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple Computer, has just launched a world class digital institute. For those looking to explore a technology-based career, this could be an exciting time to engage with https://woz-u.com.
It has been decades since I spent time in a classroom but I have never stopped learning. I might just have to become a student again!