Monday, September 24, 2012

Will Richardson Talk on Learning

The most important part of this talk I believe is when Will Richardson says, "it is the coolest moment to be a learner right now".  This could not be more true.  With technology we have access to learn anything we want.  He gave the examples of his daughter, Tess, learning to play Don't Stop Believing on the piano and Mark who learned all about cinematography.  I couldn't agree more that with technology you can learn to do anything you want.  I find that I use the internet or some other form of technology at least once a week to teach myself how to do something.  For example, I run and like to do abs to keep my core strong.  I was getting bored with my normal routine so I typed "ab routines" into YouTube and within seconds I was teaching myself new ab exercises I had never heard of.

With this being said, teachers are not needed in their traditional sense anymore the talk suggests.  Students can learn anything they want online, so why would they need a teacher to teach them.  The computer could act as their very own personal teacher that caters an online curriculum specifically to the individual, moves at a good pace for the individual and offers the support that specific student needs.  There has been a shift in learning and teachers are now needed for something more.  Teachers are needed to teach students deep inquiry skills and how to problem solve, to teach students to collaborate globally and share their work and to help students find things they are passionate about and help them pursue that so that they become life long learners.  Will Richardson says that teachers are now needed to teach students these things, but I think they're needed for more.  We couldn't just get rid of schools in the traditional sense.  We need the schools because students need personal connections; they need to learn about themselves, other people and how to act socially acceptable.  If education became all computer based our future adults, doctors, teachers, lawyers would have the social and emotional skills of a fourth grader.  Students, I believe need teachers and a somewhat traditional school system because it is through the group activities, group projects, recess, lunch, etc. that students learn how to be a person.  I believe technology is a great thing and these days it can teach us anything, but I think we should use technology in a way so that it is incorporated in schools, not replacing schools.

Will Richardson makes many good points.  It truly is a great time to be a learner (this includes adults too!) but where I disagree is where he says it is a bad time to be an educator.  I think it is a great time.  We need to use technology to our advantage.  Use it to improve and incorporate into lessons not to become the lesson.  This way, as teachers, we can use technology to our advantage and still be needed!

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