Laurentius de Voltolina - Illustration of education in 14th century

Did Technology Change Education?

Albert Einstein once said:
“Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think.”

We all know the scene where the teacher lectures from a podium at the front of the room, while the students sit in rows and listen. Some of the students have books open in front of them and appear to be following along. A few look bored. Some are talking to neighbors. One appears to be sleeping. Laurentius de Voltolina made this illustration in the 14th century. Classrooms today sound pretty much the same in the 21st century? Let’s ask us why is that?

Laurentius de Voltolina - Illustration of classroom in 14th century

Source: – Laurentius de Voltolina – Illustration of classroom in 14th century

World today is very different from the world in the 14th century, thanks to technology.
Technology made some big transformation in industry, medicine, business etc. but you don’t hear education anywhere right? Why is that? Technology changes have a lot of impact on world’s economy, corporative management, and global trends. Also, it has great potential to reshape the nature of education and learning environment. So, again, why is education the same like in the 14th century? Is the school system wrong? Schools are saying how teachers are not ready to educate themselves when it comes to technology, how teachers in the elementary school have big hostility for new technologies.

Teachers let me explain you

You are confused. There are two different things. First one is “learning technology” (based on psychological and social-psychological research) which is helping to choose contents and goals to design teaching methods and environment for learning. All of this is needed, so that students can have better achievements. The other one is “delivery technology” which is necessary for providing an efficient and time-adjusted approach with those teaching methods and learning environment. They are both very important, but very different when it comes to their contribution to education. “Delivery technology” has an impact on costs and access to teaching and information. “Learning technology” allows having an impact on students achievements.

We have to understand the relation between technology and learning, because today that is an everyday thing. Everything that we see or hear comes from some kind of technology. It has an impact on nature and quality of learning. Teaching and learning, through technology, are changing the way students find out things, supply themselves with skills and strategies of thinking how to reorganize their time, assignments etc. All of that significantly improves their performances. Have you felt like this recently? Did school become a place which isn’t built for learning?

So, all of you teachers (who don’t want to improve your knowledge) should be fired, that’s right! No one wants to hear you lecture for 2 hours, give us a bunch of facts, and be like “here is the test”. We want someone who is going to be a good teacher, but a great psychologist. Someone who wants to try, to understand that technology is not going to change traditional education, whose activities through technology will improve education.

We are growing up in the environment, where tools of communication like email, online forums for discussion, allows us to express an opinion. Interactive video contents and chat provide us with direct experience of learning, while at the same time provide us to learn at our own pace.

While I was doing this research, I went to few schools to talk to them about this, and surprise, surprise.

Half of them, are not even furnished for next level when it comes to technology. In some countries, students are using books from previous generations. They have few computers, so they are splitting classes into 2 groups. Did this just become governments problem? If it is, then why Is this happening? Are they really more interested in investing in big shopping malls instead of the most important thing: our education? Here are just a few comments from few schools:

– “Equipment is just not enough. All that we have, we got because we insisted. We were rejected from Ministry for educations few times. We are a small school, but our kids are going to grow up same as everyone. Education should be fun, creative and should make progress.”

– “We have computers for our class in informatics, but they are really old, the school tried to fix them a few times, but we just don’t have any more money to fix them, even less to buy new ones.”

How is this even possible? The government should make the school be a place where they going to prepare us for the world that it is. If we are going to survive in the real world, where we use technology pretty much everywhere, we have to be prepared. New technologies are going to keep transforming the world in the ways we can’t even imagine. Just look how the internet works now? And we are still learning about dial up internet, in the time when it is not even used. Why are we seating in stupid rows like we work in a factory? Why we still listen to the facts for 45 minutes, without any real world application, standardized assessments, kids are carrying so many books that backpacks are bigger than them etc.

Learning is no longer limited to pencil and paper, so why do we still wait for the test, only to see that the year from previous 3 to 6 generations is still there, so what we didn’t make any progress, not even to make a new question for the test? Or why do we still have to wait for a week to find out our results?

Do you know that South Korea announced that they will transform their educational system into the most advanced model, in the way that you are going to be able to transfer the entire material to a digital version, available on any device by 2018? All classrooms are going to be digitalized.

Also, Germany is one of the few countries that have awake conscience that environment in which children are learning should be changing and modernizing.

In England, schools have software applications for online testing. Oxford has their own application for it.

Of course, I had to look at it. You can order a demo to try it. The market for this is huge. I found that 93% of employers use this kind of software for online testing (such as YouTestMe, E-sec, Sakai, etc.) to either hire or recruit employees. So that means that if we leave school with zero knowledge about this, we have only 7% of companies in which we can be hired?

Technology is changing, classrooms are changing, assessments that schools are using is changing.

Government, my question is why are we still standing in the same place, when everything else is changing?

What do you get from it? GENERATION OF ZOMBIES?

By: V.V.