Education is changing. It has been. The world my children live in is much different than what I grew up in during the 80’s and 90’s. Never before in history has their been such decentralized access to information. Here are five ways that our understanding of education and learning needs to change in light of unprecedented changes in technology.
- It is no longer what you know, but how quickly you can find what you need to know.
Today’s computer technicians (and really any other software or hardware specialist) can google error codes or specific problems and almost always find information from others who have faced similar problems.
- The ability to find and quickly process information is more important than memorizing and knowing facts.
Since so much information is available, the ability to analyze and sift through good content vs. bad content is more important that rote memorization.
- It is (and will always be) important to understanding basic underlying concepts.
One of the temptations of this era of information will be to neglect the need for a deeper understanding of how things work. A basic understanding of hardware, programming, general science, general math, etc. will be key to success and the primary factor that distinguishes someone from their peers.
- It is important to have a narrow, specialized focus.
Technology has driven the need for a more specialized workforce. In the future, education will be force to encourage students toward specific fields earlier. Students who find their niche and quickly become recognized experts will be the ones who are successful. Not ones who demonstrate traditional aptitude through things like grades or exams.
- The saying “You can be anything you want to be” is more true today than it ever has been in history.
One of the most encouraging aspects of these changes is the fact that “expertise” is attainable by far more of the general population. Expertise is not as much “handed down” as it is “reached for”.
What do you think? Do you think these are trends that will continue? What are some practical ways we can embrace these changes in education and learning?