The School of the Future (C)

Microsoft & co. try a super-smart school in Philly.

I'm not sure what to do with this.
I can't help shaking the feeling that all of this new technology is a waste of time. If we expect to see grades shoot up and kids learning to run our offices at age 12, we're fooling ourselves. None of the real work of education is accomplished in the tools; everything is caught up in interaction of the teacher's and the student's approach to the content and the process. Was this equipment designed with a specific learning approach in mind? Hopefully. Even then, how can they be sure that the approach they're targeting will be a good fit for the students they've enrolled?

Traditional models of education are, at the very least, consistent. That consistency is based on a long, long time that we've spent as a society teaching each other: discourse, reading, writing, knowledge tests and excersises. It's not perfect, but at least we know what to expect from it (students who can read, write, retain knowledge and apply it.)

What do y'all think?


Anonymous said...

"School of the Future" is a better moniker than A.C.E.'s "School of Tomorrow".

Believe me, I've had many students that would line up for the "School of Tomorrow".

Rus said...

There is a difference between using technology to do more efficiently what has always been done (think ATM's), and using technology to get things done in new ways (think online banking). The former requires the customer to arrive at some sort of bank location, while the latter gives the customer unfettered access from home.

Such is the case with "The School of the Future", it sounds like same old school done with some added efficiencies.

To do school different you might want to look at the CyberHigh models in Alberta, where the technology is used to create a totally different interaction space between the teacher and learner.

Or, look at High Tech High in San Diego, a charter school that reorganized into project-based learning, and staffed the school with experts from a variety of fields rather than teachers.

Then again Microsoft has never thrived on original thinking. (Hint: Windows, Apple, & Xerox )