The Economist, one of those specialties magazines I’ve seen but never read, is currently holding a series of three debates dealing with education topics on their web site .
The first proposition being discussed deals with one of the issues regularly ranted about around here.
The continuing introduction of new technologies and new media adds little to the quality of most education.
The last time I checked the voting was split 55% to 45% against that statement.
However, at the risk of losing my edtech geek license, I have to come down on the pro side.
We have been introducing new technologies into the classroom for years now (decades?). Have we really seen any substantial increase in the quality of teaching and learning as a result?
As to “new media”, there isn’t enough of it (whatever “it” is) being used in American classrooms to know how it might affect things.
But the bottom line in this debate is that new technologies and media will add little to education unless we are willing to make some major changes to the whole institution.
To take full advantage of the power that comes with these tools, we need to start by dumping the traditional structures of our current schooling process.
And that a whole ‘nuther debate.
Incidentally, the next debate topic at the Economist will be “National Competitiveness – Should countries compete to attract qualified students regardless of nationality and residence?”, which doesn’t really apply for those of us in K-12 education.
The final question will be “Social Networking – Does it bring positive change to education?”. Now, that should be a lively argument.