At a recent education conference I was at, one of the big-wigs at Intel gave a keynote about the future of technology and education. He talked about Moore’s law, and some of the probable developments in educational tools, and also about the effect connectivity is having / will have on our lives.
Holding up his Smartphone, he gushed ‘look at this thing! Who a couple of years ago would have thought that I would be able to have 300 emails waiting for me on a mobile device this size!’
And I thought, ‘who the hell would want to have thought that?’
But it was one comment that interested me in particular. ‘If it’s on Google,’ he said, ‘why teach it?’ And I just thought that displayed perhaps the poorest understanding of education, and technology’s place within it, I have ever heard.
Just yesterday, as I sat reading in the evening light, the laptop shut, kids in bed after a day in the park, I pondered this.
Books and people make me a better person, I thought; the internet does not.
I think this is something to do with space and time. It is not internet access people need to be educated.
It is space and time to think and read and talk to people, and to be guided by a teacher. One cannot educate children by loading them with a smartcard pre-loaded with information. One might as well say ‘If it’s in the Bible, why preach it?’ But that’s a whole different can of worms.