There is much to absorb in this piece by the OECD’s education director Andreas Schleicher, but here’s the part that we need to all think about:
The impact of technology on education delivery remains sub-optimal, because we may over-estimate the digital skills of both teachers and students, because of naive policy design and implementation strategies, because of a poor understanding of pedagogy, or because of the generally poor quality of educational software and courseware.
The results suggest that the connections among students, computers and learning are neither simple nor hard-wired; and the real contributions ICT can make to teaching and learning have yet to be fully realised and exploited.
But the findings must not lead to despair. School systems need to get the digital agenda right in order to provide educators with learning environments that support 21st Century pedagogies and provide children with the 21st Century skills they need to succeed in tomorrow’s world.
Welcome to the crappy moment of shift that we’re in as we try to shake the grip of a pre-connected education and figure out what the new version looks like. Not to say we cut loose everything old, but it’s hard as hell to figure out what to keep when we know that things need to be different yet so few of us really understand what that means on a personal level. We cannot keep it all, but we cannot change it all.
And I wonder this: could we be at “peak learning” when it comes to using technology to master the traditional curriculum and outcomes? I mean, might the most powerful learning that connected, creative technologies afford have little to do with the stuff that we deem important enough to “teach” and test? Is it possible that technology and tradition are wholly incompatible when it comes to learning?