How many of us are sick of the current educational route? Raise your hands and shout â€śayeâ€ť if you agree with me when I say that the American learning system has its vulnerable points and gaping flaws. Fifty years ago, we were on top of the world. Our education system, from kindergarten to graduate school was the envy of the world.
So I ask you, REEP blog readers, what happened? Where did we as a nation lose our prowess among the global intellectual elite? I can name one of the biggest issues: technology.As much as this pains me to say, the days of the slide ruler are over. Heck, the days of the calculator are over. Itâ€™s now computer or nothing. Everything is digital, from our phones to our cars; the more internet capability, the betterâ€¦which makes total sense. Could you imagine the pure havoc that could result from you being disconnected from the Internet for hours, or maybe even days? Unthinkable! All sarcastic jabs aside, the web has caught us as a nation. Almost all of us, at least.
The sad lonely part that got left out of the digital rebirth of life? Our frail education system. I personally have no digital stimulation in my school, and I am assuming some of our readers donâ€™t have much either. The only thing technology related in my school day is my cell phone, and that not technically allowed to be used while on school grounds. My books are made of paper, my pencils are made of wood, my binders are made of plastic. No batteries whatsoever.
Now to a purist, this might seem like the best route, but I beg to differ. Technology is all about globalization; it is about connecting people – who are an obscene distance apart – together so they can commence trade. If we are leaving twenty three years of our lives without any adaptation to that system, the remaining time (however long that is) is going to be even less relevant to what we actually learned in school.
Stocks are not traded through mail; mathematical equations are not solved with pen and paper; medical problems are not diagnosed with a popsicle stick.
The reason we go through the entire education regime is to ultimately provide us with the tools we need to be competitive on a global market for pretty much everything. When we are ignoring one of the largest factors in how this global world works, we are ignoring what we really should be preparing ourselves for. Do you agree?
We turned a blind eye to technology for too long and have long been past the point of no return. Either we embrace our mechanical wings and fly, or we tear the paper ones we are already gliding on and crash out of the picture.
Fortunately, I am not the only one who feels this way. A few days ago, I had the privilege of attending the REEP Education & Innovation Exchange event held at Rice University. There, the best and brightest educators converged for a day of batting around ideas on how to alter our education system deep enough to get us back to the state of being the envy of global educational programs.
Throughout the entire day, almost as if a mantra, there was the constant topic of the power of technology. Top educators and speakers from around the country provided pieces of a larger picture as to how the technocentric world is going to shape the way we learn in the future, and let me be the first to say, there is nothing low tech about what these experts have planned. With scopes ranging from smart boards in the classroom, to national internet learning databases, these educators have come to terms with the fact the future is going to be online, and taken advantage of all it has to offer.
I personally look forward to seeing what the future has to hold in terms of digital learning. What about you? Can anything really beat the purist approach? Is there too much hype surrounding the technology movement? Is the future of learning better in print or pixels?
Which side are you on? Please feel free to leave your comments in the field below. Or mail it to me written in pen on a piece of paperâ€¦