Wired Magazine Article and a note about it from our founder Ross Wehner:
This is a great explanation of the massive shift in teaching happening across the world. This article accurately describes this shift as from a world where teachers lead the learning and push content and standardized exams, to the new world where students lead much of their learning and teacher is now facilitator helping kids develop a key set of global skill (creativity, real-world application of science and math, problem solving, written and oral communication, inter-cultural competency, empathy, resilience, etc. In this world of skills building, content is still relevant but it’s used strategically in the service of skills, not the other way around. Technology is a huge part of this as with technology kids can access any information they want, anytime, which relieves the teacher of having to be the font of wisdom, “sage on the stage,” etc.
Interestingly, as this article implies near the end, much of this innovation has happened in US charter schools serving economically disadvantaged kids. It’s in these areas where education has absolutely failed, district officials have thrown up their hands and schools are free to experiment freely (though they are still monitored carefully by, and their future funding depends on, standardized exams). In the US, World Leadership School works with private schools that are commonly quite slow to incorporate some of these innovations — they have a well oiled machine that gets kids into the right colleges, and these right colleges are still accepting kids for the same criteria they have always accepted kids. These colleges are just now beginning to realize they should look beyond GPA, APs, SATs, and other measure of content mastery.
I believe that in our Mobile Tablet Lab pilot in Costa Rica, we have the potential of showing strong learning growth if the tablets can be used as tools to help shift to a new way of student-led learning.