Monday, March 24, 2014

Rethinking Learning in the Digital Age

Today we will focus again on the urge for education to adapt to the needs of a changing world. We will go as far as posting about the beauty of coding, something which at first sight seems in contradiction with what we are trying to promote - music and art - but which in the end falls within the broad boundaries of creativity and which only reinforces the fact that in today's world schools have to be conceived differently and teaching + learning revolutionized accordingly.
"To me what is really important is that we have to rethink our approaches to learning and education, to fit with the new possibilities of the digital age. With new technologies they provide us with an opportunity to rethink what we learn, how we learn, where we learn, when we learn, who we learn with. But too often people aren’t taking advantage of the possibilities of the new technology. Of course we see some of the new possibilities...we see that computers are delivering more information to us than never before, we have access to more information, but I worry that this is a too information-centric view of education, it is all about delivering information or gaining access to information. In my mind that is not really the way to really transform education for a new age. Education too often has been about an expert delivering information to a learner, and what too often we are doing with new technologies is that we are taking technology delivering information to the learner. We are still holding on to transmission or delivery model of learning as if learning is about delivering information from one person to another or from one technology to a person. And I don't think this is the most productive way of learning...New technologies do hold the opportunity for very different approaches for education. For example, we can treat the technology not as a way to deliver and access information, but as a material for building and creating things in the world. I mean, this goes back to the theories of Jean Piaget, the great psychologist, epistemologist, who talked about learning as an effort of active construction of new knowledge...Technology can change how we learn. It’s not just about delivering information, but learning through experimentation and exploration. We often use the word “tinkering”, that people can learn by experimenting, trying things out to see what works. It allows you to create something and immediately see whether it works or not, and then make adjustments."
Please listen to MIT Prof. Mitchel Resnick on ways to transform education, the Lego Mindstorms, and the idea of constructionist learning -- video by Serious Science

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