Evolution not Revolution of Education

I was recently introduced to this excellent video clip on YouTube which brilliantly portrays a very simple education message that seems to be being missed over and over again. The message being:

Individual technologies will not revolutionise education, however high quality, enthusiastic teachers who can use the technologies appropriately will help education evolve.

Enjoy the video…

Technology over the years, has allowed education to evolve and to adapt to the benefits that the technology brings, however it doesn’t and won’t ever replace the role of a good teacher. As mentioned in the video, every time a new technology comes along, those people responsible for promoting it (e.g. the people selling the technology), often fall into the trap of claiming that this new technology will ‘revolutionise’ education – and sadly many senior managers have been duped into believing this – and believing that putting their hands in their pockets and (often unstrategically) throwing money will solve all their ills.

It is often said that, and I will say again here, that technology in the hands of a poor (or no) teacher will make the education experience worse. Technology in the hands of a good teacher may make the experience better. The key here being the quality of the teacher. In investment terms we need to invest more in the staff using the tools, rather than the tools themselves – if we do this then education can naturally evolve.

Within Further Education in the UK, I am seeing a very varied response from organisations to the challenges that FELTAG brings – many are going to throw tokenistic amounts of money into trying to buy a solution – others are simply asking the already overworked teachers to do even more work in their own time to solve the problem, and then a few are realising that FELTAG is all about and requires high levels of senior manager joined up thinking and strategic leadership. If we look at the use of technology as evolution rather than revolution, that alone make the problem and challenge much simpler to comprehend and act upon – and is a good starting foundation for this area of work.

4 Responses

  1. Great video. Good teaching is helping students to learn and maybe inspiring them. Technology can help … or sometimes hinder

  2. The central message is that learning is Social, and that teachers are there to manage the socialisation around concepts, ideas and problems. Completely agree, though this is not the same as ‘prepping’ people for exams, another form of social activity, involving much more proximity between teacher and learner and desired outcome.
    It is probably for this reason that I have found collaborative learning in the clouds as an excellent additional tool to promote effective learning. It’s not about the technology but what the technology enables, and facilitiating children to be able to storm solutions about problems is clearly an effective new solution not really available before the advent of google apps etc.

    • I often say that good education is about interaction between tutor-student, and student-student, and this is the same whether the environment is a classroom, VLE or some other form. There are some wonderful tools to allow for peer interaction even when not in the same room. Google apps, Google docs, Office 365, Padlet, WordPress, flickr plus many more.

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