The video is called “The Future Belongs to the Curious,” and it celebrates how we are all programmed with curiosity from birth. This curiosity drives us to do amazing things, and those of us who can hold on to it throughout life have a competitive advantage. As a parent, the celebration of learning for its own sake is definitely something I can get behind.
The fact remains that today’s dominant formal education model is a broken system based on antiquated paradigms. The most compelling and visionary reading on reinventing education from the past century.
Once we have computer outlets in every home, each of them hooked up to enormous libraries where anyone can ask any question and be given answers, be given reference materials, be something you’re interested in knowing, from an early age, however silly it might seem to someone else… that’s what YOU are interested in, and you can ask, and you can find out, and you can do it in your own home, at your own speed, in your own direction, in your own time… Then, everyone would enjoy learning. Nowadays, what people call learning is forced on you, and everyone is forced to learn the same thing on the same day at the same speed in class, and everyone is different.
A great conversation that just skims over the deeper feeling I have that “we” are slowly working out the problems with the current system and working out how to deliver a revolution.
We’ve had a spate of books that point to the internet as making this generation dumber or damaging our brains, or making us all more distractable. But thanks to Pew Research and work by MacArthur Foundation’s Digital Media and Learning Program, we have excellent research that says none of that is true.
So now we can relax, get a little more calm and think more creatively and critically about what we need to do better to prepare students and adults for the possibilities and challenges of the new technology.
The Web has unlocked the keys to a worldwide virtual school, potentially leveling the playing field for students around the world.
The observation that there hasn’t been a major disruption in the education industry (such as the like seen in music, film and books) is so true. And just imagine the effects of such a disruption! Traditional education institutions becoming as relevant as Blockbuster was to the film industry.
There have been changes sure, wikipedia, youtube, google and electronic text books - but nothing that means students learn more out of the institutions than inside them. These changes have been no different that what the CD was for music.
This is where I think the “gaming layer" will break that ground. Such initiatives as Gameful and all the other game based learning software that I’ve been mentioning in previous posts, will mean that the hours and hours spent by people playing games will actually replace the hours and hours spent sitting in a class room doing tasks and projects.
The prime example I always refer to - imagine if Pokemon was based on biological science! We’d have a whole generation that could skip 1st year biology class.
The Web gives lifelong learners the tools to become autodidacts, eschewing exorbitant tuition and joining the ranks of other self-taught great thinkers in history such as Albert Einstein, Alexander Graham Bell, Paul Allen and Ernest Hemingway.
Educational apps are usually flashcard, textbook or calculator substitutes: They make games that help with memorization, are references for information, or give you the answer. What’s exciting about Wolfram Alpha’s new apps is that they sometimes give you not just the answer, but a step-by-step explanation of how they arrived at it. Instead of just spitting out an answer and a line for a one-variable equation, for instance, the Algebra app shows each step of the equation.
Gameful’s aim is to attract people who “want to make or play games specifically designed to a have a positive impact on the real world, or on our real lives: game designers and developers, game writers and artists, programmers and producers, project managers and marketing experts, reporters and critics, students and researchers, players and playtesters. Even if you’ve never made a game before, you’re welcome to join Gameful — you’ll surely find people who would love your help with their games… or who would be interested in helping you make YOUR idea a reality!”
Here is another game that crossed my path that does what I hope all game developers would do - educate! Fate of the World is a dramatic global strategy game that puts all our futures in your hands. Just imagine if Pokémon educated about biology, Farmville about the food chain, etc etc… - anyway, it’s good to see some work in this area.