Friday, April 02, 2010

"Kids...Learn different from kids back then" - REALLY?

I wish our educators would stop with this nonsense...
"Kids nowadays, I think they learn different from kids back then. If they don't make it fun, kids don't want to learn."
As if kids "back then" learned because they were frustrated and angry?  C'mon people can we get the conversation to move on a little faster?

The quote above came from this article pointed out by my friend @rovybranon . Now, the article is good. And I'm happy to see teachers trying to improve their use of technology in the classroom.  Don't get me wrong.  I'm all for it.  It just makes our educators sound so, well, uneducated when they spout off about how "these kids" are SO much different from kids long ago.

Here's the deal.  Kids are kids.  Always have been. Always will be.  There is no secret genetic coding that triggered with "these kids" making them super smart, or able to learn by having fun.  Sitting in a chair lined up in neat little rows and columns staring at an underpaid "educator" all day long will have the same effect it had 50 years ago.

Education v Learning
I don't mind going through this again and again and again.

  1. Education is NOT about Learning.  
  2. Learning happens without education.  
  3. Education cannot exist without Learning.

See the scam here?  Learning is about the learner.  Education is about the system, the entities within that system, and efficiency above effectiveness: everything BUT the learner.

eLearning, and especially eLearning2.0 (Learning2.0) is about the learner.  Its about kids and adults now having the power to control their own learning journey.  We finally have the power to say, "I don't have to sit here any more! My butt does NOT need to be in YOUR seat in order for me to get the information I need to grow and succeed in this world.  I'm outta here!"

...or something like that ;-)

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Anonymous said...

Exactly. The saddest thing I see in schools are students being taught the same information in the same way as I was taught umpteen years ago.

Good teaching requires work: planning, adapting, changing, and innovating. If your heart isn't there to make each lesson be the best, get a different job.

Learning does not have to be static. Learning does not have to be dull.

Thanks for a great post that went well with my morning coffee! Inspiring.

Anonymous said...

well, I actually disagree that they are the same. This assumes that a person is just its brain, which doesn't hold. You are you + your environment. So, if you expose kids to a rich and exciting environment at home (Web, video games, etc), they will be more likely to get bored with a straight lecture than another kid who does not have exposure to such environment (such as a few decades back). the whole concept of you being a part of your environment rather than "a brain in a glass" is kind of old and is called situated cognition

Jillian Zavitz - Programs Manager said...

Agreed! Kids are a special case -- but have not changed so much from "back in the day". Learning is not just black and white -- its more of a 2.0 rainbow! :)