Thursday, July 24, 2008

The End of School as We Know It?

That's the name of an article that just arrived in my in box... I hope you'll give it a 5 minute read and then a very long personal reflection. Nothing to turn in, but this could make for a good discussion in class. see link below


PS... If you're not familiar with Teacher Magazine, I recommend it.

PPS... if your are so motivated, leave a comment on either the article's page or on this blog post (below) or both...


Mireia said...

As a teacher, I see every day the face of schooling changing for the different stakeholders that are part of the the educational system. Parents, administrators, and students are already experimenting with the possibilities that technology offers adding a new dimension to the school setting. Nevertheless, as a teacher, there are some many questions that come up, from the logistical to the pedagogical: Can students connect their home computer to the classroom to listen real-time lectures and perform hands-on activities following instructions through the computer screen? Couldn't they submit their homework and assessments on-line to the classroom blog, school website, or send it to the teacher by e-mail? Would this methodology be equally effective in terms of academic performance to the more “traditional” setting of going to class every day? I would like the answer for all these questions to be a positive one, because that will reshape my job and would definitely make my classroom management become a much easier task. Furthermore, parents would have the opportunity to home-school their kids for a couple of days and save the time and the money to commute to the school of their choice that is not in their neighborhood. However, would this new setting mean a sacrifice for the human connection that takes place every day in schools? Schools are not only a center for disseminating information but a also a place of social interaction.

Hannah said...

While I am all for the growth of the use of technology in the classroom, I agree with the latter part of Mireia's comment -- that the direct social connection aspect of school would be a big sacrifice. I don't believe we are yet at the point where technology can satisfactorily substitute for face-to-face human interaction.

With regard to the article, using technology to re-organize school grouping according to ideology and values may have the unintended consequence of causing people to have a narrower, rather than a broader, view of the world, and, taken to the extreme, may impede the exchange of ideas.

That having been said, despite the possible drawbacks, I think our current technology has huge potential to create a more dynamic classroom environment, if it is used in conjunction with, rather than replacing, the traditional classroom setting.