Learning at its core is a highly personal activity that the 20th century converted into a mass production process. We industrialized it, and organized it, and processed it so that we could get big numbers of students through a system with a predictable outcome. Digital changes that. Everything can be highly personalized, uniquely mine.
I’ve said it before, but the entire daily educational process was designed to solve a people-moving, time and space problem. Classes, class schedules, class periods, classrooms, semesters, semester hours, credit hours, even the well-worn pattern of lecture-lecture-lecture-quiz, lecture-lecture-paper-exam… all of it is a manufacturing process. The university’s daily, weekly system, the high school and middle school systems, and to a lesser extent the grade school system are our answer to the same problems that those Imagineers had to solve at Disney World: How do you get huge numbers of people into the park and through the rides while assuring that everyone has an equal experience?
This quote is from a post by Bryan Polivka (via Will Richardson’s Posterous). Bryan expresses nicely how digital technology can – and is – changing education, allowing it to be more personal and hopefully breaking away from the old knowledge transmission and drill and kill mentallity. However, we must ensure everyone has access to connectivity, devices and the skills to take part in this new world. There is a real opportunity to connect to others, and widen one’s world view to build an equitable society. How will we meet the challenges ahead?