Our public school system used to have a monopoly on information and learning. However, access to technology has changed that paradigm. Now, teachers are no longer the gate-keepers of information, because students can access far more knowledge than any educator has with a few clicks of the mouse...or touches of the screen. Richardson argues that even though this access to teachers, learning and information is the new reality, public schools have stubbornly held on to their traditional structures for learning, which were developed in a different time to accomplish a different means.
If the primary goal for school remains educating our children well enough to "pass the test," getting them all to consume the "right" content and store the "right" answers, there will soon be better ways to do that than by sending our kids to school.
Whether we adults see it or not, my son, your daughter, our kids aren't waiting any longer for someone to tell them what to learn.As schools learn to adjust to this new paradigm for learning, Richardson stated there are two different directions this change could take. The first is to use technology to do what we are currently doing "better." In other words, "let's deliver the old curriculum through new tools." The second is to use technology to do things "differently", which includes changing the roles of teachers and classrooms. The second approach is necessary for our public schools to remain relevant in the face of teachers and information no longer being a scarce resource.
In the second approach to change
The emphasis shifts from content mastery to learning mastery. That means students have more ownership over their own learning, using their access to knowledge and teachers to create their own unique paths to the outcomes we, and they, deem important.
...assessments focus less on what student know, and more on what they can do with what they know.
Developing creativity, persistence, and the skills for patient problem solving, B.S.-detecting, and collaborating may now be more important than knowing the key dates and battles of the Civil War (after all, those answers are just a few taps on our phones away...In this new world, where "curriculum is everywhere", how will our public schools stay relevant? How will our public schools, which were developed to prepare kids to work in factories, adapt to this new paradigm where knowledge and teachers are no longer scarce? That is the challenge we educators face, because failure to adapt will cause parents to start asking "Why School?"