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Wired Magazine Article on Radical New Teaching Method

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.

Bridging the Gap in Costa Rica

We recently were made aware of how our Mobile Tablet Lab (MTL) is helping children reach across continents to connect and learn more about each other. Students at the Linda Vista School in the remote Chilamate region of Costa Rica are using our MTL to exchange videos (shot and edited with the MTL!) with students at the Berkeley Carroll School in Brooklyn, NY. The assignment for both groups was to film and talk about signs of change in their neighborhoods and communities. This type of connection is creating a global relationship that would not be possible without these tools. Here at World Leadership Foundation, we are committed to addressing the “digital divide” – the line between those who have access to computers and the Internet, and those who do not. Our experience in developing communities is that this a growing part of the poverty equation worldwide, and is even experienced here in the U.S. Our MTL bridges this gap in an innovative and powerful way and helps us achieve our mission of unleashing the potential of global communities through technology, learning, and collaboration.

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