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Author Topic: Learning for the 21st Century  (Read 13081 times)
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« on: October 10, 2009, 01:28:56 AM »

Hello everyone - Just came across this video and wish to share it with the forum. Also, I want to recommend a great book, I am currently reading and answer many of the questions placed in the video.

<a href="" target="_blank"></a>

Accelerated Learning for the 21st Century: The Six-Step Plan to Unlock Your Master-Mind by Colin Rose

« Last Edit: October 10, 2009, 01:30:43 AM by GloriaD » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2009, 03:44:50 PM »

One star--manipulative and stupid, and evidently made by someone who has completely embraced the leading educational attitudes in the U.S.--which have gotten us where?

You have to understand the historical background of this sort of thing.  For them, groupwork is the most legitimate kind of schoolwork.  Also, for some reason, many educationists have (for generations) thought that technology is the key to revolutionizing education.  They also say--to their eternal shame--that learning facts is not important, because the world is changing very fast.  If ever there was a non sequitur, it’s that.  But that’s why they just get hot and bothered at the notion of kids learning by using wikis and blogs--in which people make up their own facts, together, with the latest technology of course.  Now, if you knew who I was, you'd know that I like wikis and blogs and the latest technology.  (Just trust me on that--I build it myself.)  But they are not a panacea.  Technology never is.

Education is mainly an individual thing, that happens mostly in an individual mind.  Kids learn the most when they follow their own interests and get deeply, personally, individually into a topic.  Think back to all the groupwork you did in school.  Then think of the most educationally rewarding and memorable experiences you had in school.  How much overlap is there?  For me, none.  My most memorable educational experiences were reading books, writing papers, and aceing tests.

No offense to you, Gloria my dear!


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« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2009, 04:16:50 PM »

One star--manipulative and stupid, and evidently made by someone who has completely embraced the leading educational attitudes in the U.S.--which have gotten us where?

Education is mainly an individual thing, that happens mostly in an individual mind.  Kids learn the most when they follow their own interests and get deeply, personally, individually into a topic.  Think back to all the groupwork you did in school.  Then think of the most educationally rewarding and memorable experiences you had in school.  How much overlap is there?  For me, none.  My most memorable educational experiences were reading books, writing papers, and aceing tests.

No offense to you, Gloria my dear!

I really agree with you Daddude.  You can learn from groupwork but only to some extent.  My most rewarding educational experiences are when I struggled on my own and rose above them. 

Education system in the US is good to some extent, schools here emphasize independent thinking which I know schools of few other countries do not.  But then we have open book tests because we disregard the importance of building memory.  We give calculators too early because we take for granted that the mind needs to calculate to sharpen.  Lastly, we have too much group work. 

Sorry, Gloria I have not read the book so no offense to your choice.  I just disregard US education system to some extent. 


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« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2009, 05:44:04 PM »

I don't like the idea of using technology as a primary teaching tool. I think technology will take a lot of thought out of learning. Technology is meant for the lazy person. Look at how obese and sedentary the majority of the nation has become over the last 20+ years, largely b/c people would rather be on the computer, play video games, watch t.v. etc. Most college students can't even tell you important facts about our nations history--events and people that have made us who we are today. Why not? I guess b/c the facts are not that important anymore. Who needs to know why WWI started when they are going to sit behind a desk all day entering data into a computer for the majority of their adult life? Technology is important and will be even more important when our children go into the job market, but there are fundamental things that can not be taught by technology. Take those away and we have a nation of dumb people who cannot think for themselves.

It is so easy to listen to a book rather than check one out at the library and read it, google something rather than look it up in a dictionary, take a virtual lab rather than get your hands dirty in a laboratory, and so on. What is this teaching our kids? To take the easy way out? To rely on others to do your work for you? That brings me Daddude's point about group learning. Do you know why schools do that? To help the lazy or slow child. There will always be 1 or 2 smart kids in a group who will do most of the work while the lazy or slow children sit back and watch the work get done. Are they really learning anything other than it's ok to not try and let others do everything for you? Maybe they will pick something up here and there, but not as much as if they had to do things on their own. Why should the whole group get an A when little Johnny clearly showed no effort? Then when he makes an F on his test you wonder why.

I am taking biology right now. We have lab partners. I honestly would rather work on my own. I learn better when I am doing everything myself. It's hard to remember a procedure or a result when someone else did it and I just stood back and watched. My lab partner likes to team up with our neighbors and split the work b/t all of us so that they do some work and we do some work and we all go home early. Yeah, I learn a lot from that. It just means more studying for me at home.

There are times when group learning is great. Some kids study better in a group. Some kids will learn better if everything is equally split b/t all the members and everyone is equally participating, but it's just hard to make sure that it stays that way. There will always be someone to pick up the slack.

Sure, I want my son to use technology, and he do doubt will, but do I want it to be his sole source of learning? No.


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« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2009, 06:27:50 PM »

Hi GloriaD ,
May I know how to view the video you uploaded? I can only see a square box.

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« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2009, 09:20:42 PM »


None taken  (offense)   !!  It is funny how whatever background or stage in life each one is, makes us pop and show more about us !!

Well to start I happen to be a technology person who married a Computer engineer and yes a good one, we love technology and I do not see any problem with integrating it to our lives as I am preparing my daughter for the "future problems and challenges"  that been said I obviously believe in the one to one education and the monumental importance of family in education reason why we Home school and love Doman and Right Brain as they both encourage an early start with LOVE as a priority and books and so on...

I honestly don’t understand how this video could have upset you so much DadDudde? I really would like more clarification .. Maybe I miss something  LOL 

The simple fact of comparison between china and us was eye opening for me, I knew china was ahead of us and is on the way to become "The New Power House" for the 21st century - (reason why Leena is studying Chinese)...

I just wanted to share something I found interesting and would appreciate if your comments could carry more constructive opinions than criticism which don’t really allow any of us to appreciate your point.

The book by the way is very good!!  but like everything in life...  it is not for everyone


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« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2009, 07:25:49 AM »

I read a book called Mind the Gap a while back which speaks about different generations and how they grew up and what they believed was important. It went all the way back to the beginning of the century and things like "children shoudl be seen and not heard" to "saving" during the great depression and how important a job was and so on.

It said that the generation born 1970-1980 (or thereabouts) were individuals who liked to work on their own many of whom grew up as latchkey kids letting themselves in at home and looking after themselves til their working parents came home. Many had divorced parents. Obviously this is a generalisation. Most of these children had parents born in the baby boom generation who believed more in team work and who were also very successful managers who made a lot of money and developed big businesses.

I suspect that a lot of us on here now were born in that generation. I know I am more of an individual and hated group work. Even now I prefer the aspects of work where I can do things by myself. That being said though I think there is a place for both - we do need to know how to work with other people since no one can do everything by themselves. Group work in schools though is not taught properly - in actual fact I find when group work is properly done there is someone whose job is deligation - they tell the other people what to do and each person gets an individual job (you do not all do the same thing) Yes, you all work to the same goal, but you do things by yourself.

Even when people truely work together (ie use two people to lift a plank) it is also individual - you hold the left side, he holds the right and you do your individual jobs in unison but if one person will not do it then the whole project fails and that is where the design of school group work fails - they set a project that makes it possible for the whole group to slack and do nothing as long as one person does it alone. That is not a good team work project - team work projects should not be able to be done alone - the entire group should fail if one person does not pull their weight.

Sounds harsh and that is why I prefer things where I am not dependent on someone else to let me down. I prefer projects where I only fail if I do not do what I should have done. Life unfortuantely does not work like that though either though I try to orchestrate it so that it does as much as possible.

Just commenting on what I have read - unable to access the video right now, but will do so when I can.


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« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2009, 09:37:15 AM »

I managed to watch the video and have a couple of thoughts on it. Firstly they are right - technology and learning how to use it should be part of the curriculum. But I don't believe that it should replace handwriting and it cannot replace reading since you need to know how to read to use the majority of these gadgets.

I do not believe though that allowing use of technology in the classroom will cause children to be creative or make them any better at furthering the world - the people who designed these machines did not have them to use and they still thought them up. I think letting them use the technology will open more doors to them and give them more choices which may make life a little more complicated for them - it might take a child a whiole week to decide which part of technology to use and then they only have a day to actually do the assignment.

Teachers should need to keep up - education is about teaching children to cope in the world as adults and yes, the technology will be different but why keep them 2 or 3 generations behind only to have to catch up as adults when it will be much harder. The means used to present an assignment is not the point - the content of the assignemnt is. I could produce an advert on paper, on an ipod, on the internet, on the radio, on television, for the big screen, as a flier or a billboard - there are numerous options. None of the options is better than another - the best option is what will sell the product to the most people and hit the target group best. They need to know it all and they need to use what works best for what they plan on doing.

I learnt about telegraphs at school though they were used only at the occassional wedding in my day - its part of history and I think I'd like my daughter to know about that too. She can learn about beta videos as well as DVDs, about tapes as well as CDs and whatever comes out next too. I'd like her to see a record player and even a coal stove. I'd like her to know about how telephones worked long ago and how cellphones are a reasonably new invention. How cameras used film and had to be developed. The world has changed a lot and I cannot tech my daughter everything, but I'd like her to be able to be exposed to as much as possible.


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« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2009, 10:47:08 AM »

Is technology the problem or is it how it is used?

I have to agree with Gloria. We must adjust education to fit the times we are living in. Whether we like it or not computers are here to stay, same as ipods, mp3 players, mobiles, etc etc. Technology should be taught in schools but that does not mean that learning to write or do a maths sums shouldn't be taught because like everything we need to un derstand the fundamentals. How do we get to the answer of the maths problem rather than just typing it in to the excel sheet and having it done for us.

I also find it funny that their are people on here (bashing) the actual technology that they are using. You can't tell me that you don't enjoy the convinence's that the technology offers you. How many of you have mobile (cell) phones, mp3 players, the internet (at the fastest possible speed that you cvan afford to have) and most importantly this technology that is so bad for children to learn, is giving you access to millions people all over the world and the ability to have a debate with many people from different countries.

Technology gives you the ability to skype a lesson and speak to someone in Antartica studying the affects of global warming first hand. Speak to someone in Africa about the affects of Poverty. Speak to an Australian about the drought in one end of the country and the floods in the top end or ask an american about the jubilation of election of your first black president.

Technology can be dangerous and yes we must protect our children from the evil preditors that are out their but we must remember everything in moderation. Children should have access to technology, but they need to the fundamental base learning work to, they should play sport and music. Hours in front of the tube is never good for any one and we should monitor the computer usage to.



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« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2009, 01:17:09 AM »

I honestly don’t understand how this video could have upset you so much DadDudde? I really would like more clarification .. Maybe I miss something  LOL 

Well, I've read a lot of books about the field of education by now, and this video (I'm only commenting on the video) strikes me as manipulative propaganda.  That's true of a lot of writing in this field, too.  Making the on-screen students plug for things that they haven't developed the analytical tools to be able to evaluate also irritates me.  If I had more time I would take you blow-by-blow through the video explaining what I think the agenda of the video producers is, and why I object.  I'll give you just one instance of something that really bothers me.  Some (unsourced) statistics appear "cleverly" on whiteboards that the kids hold up, one of them being they watch 16.5 hours of TV per week while reading two hours of a book.  Two hours?  Really--is it that much?  Well, the fact is that this is presented as a neutral fact, and the rest of stuff presents the kids' usage of technology as hip, wise, indicative of creativity, and something that should be encouraged because it will solve some of the problems (low graduation rates) that also appear on the whiteboards.  That's just confusion.  Education is done first and foremost by reading books.  Not by "learning by doing."  Not by indulging different "learning styles."  If reading books is not your "learning style," you won't be educated.  You may be trained, you may be a very clever person, but you won't be educated.

In this connection, I recommend reading The Dumbest Generation.  It's very eye-opening.

Again, no offense against you, Gloria, or your husband, but I'm pretty sure you have nothing on me on the Internet & technology department.  big grin  And I too will be training my boy on the computer (he can already handle the mouse fine and is starting to locate the letters on the keyboard), and will help him learn programming if he's interested.  I not only use, I create the technology that is discussed in these videos.  I don't bash the technology.  I bash the video that looks to technology for easy answers to deep educational problems and thereby exacerbates, or at least perpetuates, the problem.

« Last Edit: October 13, 2009, 01:21:44 AM by DadDude » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2009, 03:46:53 PM »

I appreciate the above responses - I don't think I could possibly be more against the message in this video as well!!  I was only thinking the whole time that those students were behind because they spent so much time "gaming" and "texting".  2 hours reading a book???  I would like to they read a book for 2 hours several times a day!  Sorry for adding to the fire Gloria, but I just had to speak up! 

« Last Edit: October 13, 2009, 04:15:20 PM by TheyCan » Logged
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« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2009, 04:34:30 PM »

Coming from another perspective:
I would say i remain neutral ..... because the video says what is already happening ..... the digital age is or was here upon us for almost a decade now .........

Yes i do know people use gaming texting and such, i have parents who tell me they let their kids game becoz good surgeons game ..... and if you want to be a surgeon you must be a skillful gamer ....duh .....

But yet there is no escaping this technology that is in our face and daily life ...... however i prefer to see it another way the word that catches me in the video is "engage". As with GD rusbbish in rubbish out. Therefore it is still imperatively up to us parents to guide the use of this technology and its content. Using Brillkids is still digital as its make of 0s and 1s, as compared to written flash cards. But lets face it you need to learn how to read before you can actually know how to fully use a PC or surf the web otherwise how would you know where you are surfing or what to look for.

Personally, i envision that with more improvement to technology and information, and of course my child being able to read, would be able to use a touchscreen pc, with a interactive blu ray disc, it tells the history of the dinosaur or solar system etc, with all he colourful images etc, it draws her interest, she reads more, finds more info on the web, and most important by showing interest in what she does she asks me more, hence engaging them in their education. I would say use techonolgy as a tool to enhance their learning curve and not let it be the be all and end all.

We learn alot through movies, certain things that we never knew existed, or concept of thinking, or shortening our experience thru looking at the expressions of the actors etc, in this case the visual effects of say how mars looks like etc ...... it makes us feel more, and if that interest builds we would search for more info ...... and read more books about it, .......  reading a book especially on facts can be a little dry sometimes, for eg .... watching a documentray on sub prime or ascent of money would give you a quicker understanding, of course its a point of view, but books also offers a point of view from the author too........

However, i am not supportive of using technology in the sense ..... the child wasted too much time listening to rock or punk music on i pod, or blogging about his pathetic days or cyber bullying, or gaming away on psp or dsd. Therefore techonlogy is technology and it simply depends on how we engage them to engage themselves. Its about delivering facts or information in a as memorable or effective way possible and its upto us as parents to guide them. 

Some movies like firefly, where the girl use a digital device to learn things quickly, it could be a portable digital device to replace books in the future. It is a medium, like papers, to deliver a message or facts etc.

anyway the message in the video was probably to tell people in US to go digital to improve their so called productivity curve or to go into hi end production to beat china economically, to leverage on it .... because that maybe their only chance left for a economic revival .... afterall other than digital technology where else is the forefront for the next economic leap?? definitely not more industrial revolution, or manufacturing cars, etc .... and biotech is capital intensive that employs very few people ....., so instead of building cars and trucks and tyres, US may have to go digital ......  but of course we know the end results ...... more digital consumer products means more lazy, halfwit potatoes, who can do with 3-D holographic mates instead of real ones, hmm what show was that i -robot or sth? and did anybody saw idiocracy?

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« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2009, 06:16:02 PM »

I think the problem isn't the technology itself, because technology can definitely be used to teach/learn (and I think the schools should be on top of it) - it's the distractions (email, texting, games, etc).  I think Amazon's Kindle is a good example (one of many) of a great use of technology - awesome benefits and no distractions.  Jim Trelease, the author of The Read Aloud Handbook, talks about this as well.  I've been spending the last week or so reading up about importance of using simply books ever since DadDude mentioned it in a post not too long ago.  Of all the controversial learning topics/methods out there - there's isn't much against the importance of simply reading.

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« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2009, 02:39:22 AM »

But didn't you know that all that book reading can spoil your eyesight?   LOL


Larry Sanger -
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« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2009, 07:52:50 PM »

smile I am not sure that texting and so on have to be distractions - perhaps they thought radio was a distraction when it first started. I don't think I'd like to be too critical of any technology per se right now as I could easily be proved wrong in the future. That being said: throwing away old "technology" that still works and has not been improved upon would be equally stupid. There may come a day when we no longer need to read books - I know very few people who have a set of encyclopaedias in their houses anymore - but that doesn't mean we won't need to read. And even if in a while people would not need to read anymore I'd still teach my daughter because I do not know how long that while will be.


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