When Information was King……..

Because the need to store information in our heads has diminished yet again as
our storage media have become more sophisticated (this time it’s computers and
the Internet instead of books), the value that our graduates bring to their jobs
increasingly is dependent on what they can do with what they know, not merely
what they know. Because previously-scarce information is now freely and
abundantly available on the Web, the value that teachers bring to their current
jobs is not how well they can spew forth content and then assess what kids can
regurgitate but rather how well they can – and their students can – think
critically about and act upon important facts and concepts.

Wow, the above was snipped from Dangerously Irrelevant. Why is it that so many educators, and worse, education policy makers have failed to grasp this? If you have school aged children at home, you notice that they come home and go to the medium that they find the most engaging. Whether that be a computer and the Internet, a cell phone, or an online gaming system, they are finding immersive, graphic, interactive ways to spend their time. They are learning more, not necessarily what the need to know mind you, during these unstructured times than they ever would in the common school room. Why? What they do in their school classrooms is mostly irrelevant! They can find any information they want on demand and usually that information is interactive with related information, videos and etc just a click away. Is it no wonder they are bored with school and fail to find meaning in what we do in most classrooms? If they can complete a classroom assessment by simply asking a search engine for all the answers, that assessment and what lead up to it was a complete waste of time! What we do in our classrooms must take our students beyond the basic recall of information and drill of rudimentary skills. They must learn to create, interact, evaluate, assimilate, and think critically. We must design our lessons to take our students beyond knowing the information because, in economic terms, information is now cheap. Being able to do things that others can’t do with information is where the scarcity exists!

4 thoughts on “When Information was King……..

  1. Dave, I enjoy reading your posts. They are thought-provoking and I often share what you write and discuss with my colleagues. Keep up the good work.

  2. I just read an article about employers' top complaints about teenage employees, and one of them was that teenagers are "too wired" and unable to communicate without a cell phone or a computer. Perhaps, as educators, we need to also put some emphasis on old-fashioned, face-to-face communication skills that don't require a keyboard.

    Another complaint was that teens expect everything to be entertaining. I thought AMEN when I read that!

    (I wish I could remember where I read this stuff…I'd refer you to it!)

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