Monday, June 11, 2007

Videos on the future of education

Here are a couple of videos on the future of education distributed on

As much as I enjoyed them, I started to get annoyed by the first one about mid-way through. Here are some "ranty" observations.

First of all, I am tired of people telling how great China and India are. Yes, they are powerful countries with lots of people who sort their kids well. I still say that freedom and creativity will define success in the next 100 years and the U. S. will continue to retain the edge. Why else would those two countries be sending so many of their kids to U. S. universities? What country has one the most Nobel Prizes? Don't even get me started on the environmental disaster that China represents and the issues they face with things as simple as providing clean water for their people. Also, there are those little things called FREEDOM and TOLERANCE to consider.

Secondly, cue the dramatic dark music, I was moved by the vision of the future represented by the end of the first video but I still think that educational technologies aren't dramatically affecting the bottom line. This is defined by most communities as test scores. This makes it too easy to slash these programs when things get tight. Don't scowl at me! If you work in a real school, in a real school district, and not in some ed tech ivory tower, you know what I'm talking about! I, Personally, believe in the power of constructivist learning and in the integration of technology into the curriculum, but many times we have caved in the face of the bottom line. This resulted in less powerful applicatons of these amazing learning tools. (think touch typing) We need to be able to prove, with metrics (which seems to be the coin of the realm these days) that ed tech is making a difference. Enough with the emotional speechs and moving music, give them what they want, data from the local level.

OK...have at me.


1 comment:

Horus Maktoum said...

Hi Jim, as this post is rather old I have no idea if you read this. I wanted to thank you for the link to the videos, think they're amusing!

However, your arguments against China and India are plain silly. I could state the same, being tired of Americans blind nationalism and arrogance. You are aware that American citizens produce the most garbage and use the most energy per person?