Just wanted to give a quick heads up that I’ll be interviewing Allan Collins and Richard Halverson, authors of Rethinking Education in an Age of Technology, this upcoming Monday night at 8 pm EST. More than any other in the past year, this book has really been pushing my thinking about the urgency of the shift and the potential outcomes if we don’t begin to address them. I used quotes from the book to frame my Educon conversation and to start the crowdsource project that we’re trying to undertake. (More on that in a bit.)
It would be great if you would add some questions for Allan and Rich in the comments below. It will be a quick hour, I’m sure, but one that I hope might start and or further some conversations in the network or in your schools. Here’s the link for the Elluminate room and we’ve got a hundred seats. Hope you can join us.
Ann S. Michaelsen says
I think it is really interesting that you will be interviewing Allan Collins and Richard Halverson, authors of Rethinking Education in an Age of Technology. I have almost finished the book and I am really enjoying it. In fact after reading it I tried to rethink some of my teaching practices and I did introduce a different way of learning in my class. My questions is: we read about what needs to be done in the classroom and how computer games can teach, how computers can help assess and how they can help each individual student learn more. But where are they? I am still waiting for these software solutions. The learning management programs I know do not help us in these ways and what most teachers need are specific instructions to get started. The games are often complicated and time consuming. We tried one of Shaffer’s in our school. (he is mentioned in the book). I also wonder if they think working on individual plans with creating portfolios for purposes of employment or college applications will be motivating for all students, but I guess the idea is to have a mentor backing you up and helping you on the way. Meaning we will still always need teachers?
i’ve always been interested in the fact that the teachers who use technology are those who have been at it for awhile, so rethinking education in the age of technology is crucial. my major gripe about the lack of technology use is the fault of the schools of education. they do not use the technology well. their scholars do not create webpages or blogs of their own work nor do they learn how to use them as teachers. we don’t see enough teachers having their own scholars create webpages or blogs for their own use as in college applications or employment. as we know social networks dominate our scholars world and little of this world is taught in school. we need to stop teaching the way we were taught, because the brave new world demands and deserves better and technology offers better basics, was we who use is know.
i guess my questions would be, “when might we stop be just consumers and become producers?” and “how can we get schools of education to be more effective in this area of technology use?”
Joel Zehring says
These questions are based solely on the title of the book. I have no knowledge of the books theme or concepts:
Is it wise to define education by technological trends that are likely to change in only a few years?
In your opinion, what is the purpose of education?
How can technology serve that purpose?
Greg Thompson (@akamrt) says
The book is a crucial read for all pre-service teachers and must read for the teacher already in the classroom. A couple of questions come to mind:
A. How can we expect the paradigm to shift when Schools of Education are still not conducting their programs in an immersive environment. Recent graduates (including from the University of Wisconsin) have indicated that technology was not a ubiquitous experience in many of their courses. How can we expect the current culture to change when those entering it are conditioned/trained to perpetuate the status quo?
B. With the growing reality that learning, not only doesn’t have to be confined to the four walls of school, but is no longer even confined to school itself (it never was but the perceptual reality has been, you learn at school, play at home), what does this mean for the future of our cultural conception of school – hasn’t it lost its purpose? And, if so, how should educators go about redefining the purpose for having school? It would seem that an institution without purpose can’t continue to perpetuate the myth of its needed existence.
Barb Costello says
Technology seems to be a chase. How can education afford it? What happens when we can’t access the information? How can we keep up? We are always faced with what’s new in education. Where does learning take place ande how can we best help students learn? Those would be my questions.
How can we not turn towards more technology? Students today have grown up living in the fast paced technological world. The best way to teach them now to keep their interest is through bettering our teaching with technology. I have heard of this author and have been meaning to read his book. I am very much looking forward to the interview 🙂
Norman Constantine says
Not much of a re-invention if you talk about it in a book. Sounds like the old paradigm to me.
Gary Stager says
I would really love to understand how this book has pushed your thinking? Truly.
It’s a nice piece of work reiterating popular themes of the school reform literature, but offers few specifics on the potential (or real) power of technology in learning.
Will Richardson says
Keeping in mind that I don’t have the depth of understanding that most others do, what “pushed” me was the scenario they laid out for what might happen if schools don’t find ways to make technology a fundamental part of learning. It was a different way of articulating it that for me, at least, got me thinking. I agree that the book was a bit short on specifics in terms of how to integrate the technology, but I’m not sure that was their goal anyway.
Gary Stager says
It seems like “schooling” is in trouble on many fronts. This book doesn’t do enough (for me) to indicate how technology is special or higher-up the list of threats.
My view of the power of computing tends to be broader and more sophisticated than even those who tout technology as a “disruptive” force in education.
That said, I am no longer optimistic that technology (whatever that means) or anything else will cause education (public or private) to hit bottom and reinvent itself – like an alcoholic or failing business.
In matters of “schooling” there may be no bottom – just more misery, larger class sizes, less relevancy and greater antagonism between adults and children.
Joseph Ugoretz says
Will try to listen to the interview. I’ve found the book to be an excellent introductory resource, comprehensive and balanced. I’m actually using it as one of the texts for an online interdisciplinary undergraduate honors course, “Alternate Worlds: Imagining the Future of Education.”
I wonder if the authors have plans to open the book more (through a blog? an online forum? a next edition?) to student voices, too.