Computers in Education

If a computer can do it better than a teacher, get rid of the teacher!
Arthur C Clarke
to Sugata Mitra

(I don’t mean to say that I agree with Mr. Clarke … but it’s an interesting idea!)

Despite the mountain of work I have left to do before I start the New York Teaching Fellowship on the 15th, I keep getting lost on TED again. It’s so easy to just keep clicking on video after video. I started showing my artist mother my perennial favorite on education, Sir Ken Robinson’s “Schools Kill Creativity”, because I knew she’d agree totally with it.

Then I discovered an awesome guy, Salman Khan, whose Khan Academy is transforming the way kids learn math – and now other subjects – across the world, and particularly in the Oakland city schools where he’s been running a fascinating experiment in teaching and tracking student understanding.
http://video.ted.com/assets/player/swf/EmbedPlayer.swf
So I was telling my friend Sean about this when I surfed his couch last week, because it seemed like the perfect job for him when he said he wanted to use his computer skills to help technology do something transformative in the classroom. Sean jumped right up to grab his laptop. “You have to see this guy!” he said, and headed for TED.com to show me another visionary in technology transforming learning, Sugatra Mitra.
http://video.ted.com/assets/player/swf/EmbedPlayer.swf
I know there’s more of this out there. As the famous “Shift Happens” videos have been expressing for years, we are training our students for careers that haven’t even been invented yet, and the old models of education aren’t going to work. Moreover, we can’t even begin to appreciate what education will look like in 10 years, but these and other innovative education and IT thinkers are working towards something really transformative. Getting lost on TED this week has only fed my enthusiasm about my “new” career in education…

…so I’m calling it “research” instead of “procrastination”!

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