Fear Mongering or The Future?

It’s things like this that excite me and scare me . . .
TEDTalk – Sugata Mitra and The Child Driven Education

When I watch the video I think “What a great use of technology to inspire kids, teach them responsibility, confidence and to think critically. What a great way to allow some children to challenge themselves beyond what is in the classroom and curriculum while allowing the teacher to work with others who need more guidance or support. Here is individual, personal and self-regulated learning all tied up into one. Think of the places we can go, the things we can do and the things we can see together.” A nearly unlimited, worldwide connection to people and resources.

What do you think the PC party of Ontario thinks? “Awesome, fire all the teachers because they’re useless and redundant.” This is the message we need to get out in front of rather than sit quietly waiting to respond.

Sticking a bunch of kids in a room with a computer and saying “Go!” sounds fantastic but where is the human element? I attended the Excellence In Education dinner on Thursday. There were some very powerful stories about how teachers made a huge, positive impact on the students being recognized. Yes, computers are wonderful but having an adult as a mentor, someone to exemplify what a life long learner is, give you a slap on the back for a good job or a guiding hand when needed, and share their experiences is something technology cannot replace. It is the one thing that is not spoken about in the video, the fact that for all the learning it is the approval and support of a teacher that is the final piece.

What we need to do, with or without the DSBN, is come up with an info package, video, campaign, or whatever we can to explain to parents what things like critical thinking mean, what a modern classroom or school day will look like, and how teachers are an important part of it all. Parents are the great, unused ally of teachers. We have one thing in common: we want to give the children the best chance to succeed in life and live out their dreams.

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