What is Learning?
Initially, brainstorming about learning conjured thoughts of past experiences and words I associated with learning, such as instructor, memorization, tests, and repetition. Education has historically been viewed as a passive exercise, especially with respect to the student’s role in the classroom. In the “traditional” classroom there is one teacher and several students – all sitting in one direction, opposite the teacher. The students sit quietly, attentively, absorbing as much information as possible, taking notes and trying hard to decipher what will be on the next test?
More recently, there seems to be a growing appreciation for collaborative learning. Working in groups, be it small or large, in person or online, collaboration is the most “natural” approach to learning.
The internet and other technologies make it simple to find solutions to a multitude of queries, today it almost seems frivolous to spend so much time memorizing facts, rules, and theories. The concept of teaching students where to find answers and how to utilize technology appears to be an effective approach to learning. Teach students how to learn. When students understand how to learn, establish strong communication skills, value collaboration, and have the ability think constructively, they will be prepared to be life-long learners.
As this class comes to an end I find myself reflecting back on how much my views of education have changed since I started. Prior to this class, I had a hard time conceiving anything different than what I had experienced. Over the last many weeks I have learned that there are several factors impacting the future of education, such as technology, economics and demographics. I have also learned that futuring techniques can be used to guide the direction of education and inspire innovative change. I am excited about the future of education because there are better, more effective means in which a student can learn. Our current education system has come to a virtual crossroads. Now is time for change, and the changes will need to keep coming, as nothing in life is constant. Let us create a new “road” so that future generations will be prepared for what lies ahead.