Khan Academy Video: Predicting the Future of Education

I just watched this video put up by Khan Academy and I recommend it.  It is always interesting imagining what the future will be like and we are almost always wrong in our predictions.  One of the main claims in the video is that creativity will be valued more in the future and we need to do a better job at teaching this creativity.  I like the idea that companies that are hiring will be looking at your portfolio to see what you have created rather than grades.  Sal Khan also claims that teachers will be more important in the future but that the job will be more of a coaching and mentoring job.  I have always felt that the title of my job, a “teacher”, is a terrible name because it makes it sound like I am active and my students are not.   What I imagine I really am is a “learning facilitator”, and that sounds like edu-jargon.  Maybe in the future we will all call ourselves coaches.  One prediction made by Sal was the shape of the classroom and that got me thinking.  There are two social studies teachers for 8th grade in the middle school at ASIJ and it would be so cool if we shared one big classroom and worked with the kids together.  I know team-teaching is not new, but I have never actually done it.  I guess you’d really have to have a good teaching partner for that to be enjoyable.  Watch the video and let me know what you think.

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2 Responses to Khan Academy Video: Predicting the Future of Education

  1. Avatar of Linc Jackson Linc Jackson says:

    I am glad you suggested that I watch this video. While I appreciate the optimistic view of education, I found myself disagreeing with much of the prediction.
    What has been interesting in the education news lately is the look at Finland as a model of successful education.
    If you look at that success story there are some significant contrasts…
    Teachers are not paid a lot more.
    Teachers are given many more years and much more support to fine tool their craft
    All kids are treated equally.. no focus on gifted or special tracts
    Grades are rare… comments and encouragement are plentiful
    College is not for everyone and it does not equate to success.

    I do agree that as we move forward that it is increasingly important that teachers should be interacting as a partner in learning. I just finished a book on that topic… Teaching Digital Natives. It will be a necessity in the future.

    Contrary to the movie’s focus on subject specific learnin,g I think we need to think more thematically, holistically, and integrated. It is time to focus less on more math, more reading, more writing and to focus more on more PE, more art, more music, more drama, more life skills and more involvement and partnering with our students, their families, and their communities.
    In short, I am more concerned that they learn the principles of “Slow Food” and the issues of global sustainability than how to carry out long division.
    I was also bothered by the idea that access to technology will equal learning that is project based. Hmmm.. I would say that project – based learning can be great… with or without technology.

    (I am a technology integrator in an international school)

  2. BruceB says:

    Integrate! Collaborate! Incorporate! Contemplate! Regurgitate! Elaborate! Relate! Debate!- It’s all to educate. Best answer: All of the above. Do you like strawberry or chocolate? Which is better? Whatever works for you. Maybe a chocolate covered strawberry.
    Collaboration takes a lot of time. It is like having a second spouse. Sharing ideas is quicker and serves much the same purpose. My favorite model for the classroom is the Harkness model: 12 chairs around a table (developed at Andover and Exeter). The structure invites all kinds of learning. Of course now that we have our noses glued to computer screens, we get to go hiking in the wilderness of ideas all we want. We get to gather new species of thought and bring them back to the table and share their secrets with each other. We become hunter-gatherers once again.
    In short, it’s all good. If the shoe fits, wear it.
    What technology cannot do, nor can we, is predict the future including the outcomes of our efforts with our students. They will succeed in life because of us and in spite of us in varying proportions. After all, teaching is an art and a science in varying proportions, depending on the style of the teacher. The more variety of styles a student is exposed to, the better prepared the student is to succeed in the world. Schools should be growing healthy people not trying to be efficient little factories.
    Finally, collaboration can invite competition. You can end up constantly measuring yourself against your partner in terms of pulling your own weight in the relationship. It is a delicate balance to achieve so that the boat stays true to purpose. It takes two secure egos to collaborate successfully.

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