Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Coming: the Digital Classroom

My father was born in the late 1920s - just think how much has changed in his lifetime. Travel by air, only a couple of decades old at his birth, is now commonplace. We have even traveled off this planet to the moon.

Radio was new, and families gathered around a single radio set, providing entertainment for the whole neighborhood. Now we communicate individually, instantaneously, and around the world with each other - and don't think a thing about it.

The complex calculations provided by computers were years away when my father first entered school. Education for him was rows of seats, with a teacher giving instruction the same way for everyone, paper and pencil for writing, getting information from books.

Do you see anything wrong with this picture?

Despite all the amazing technological innovations in our society over the past century, primary education remains largely the same. For the most part, my father's school, my school, my son's school, and soon, my grandson's school - will look and function remarkably the same.

Until now.

Anya Kamenetz, staff writer at Fast Company magazine and author of the new book "DIY U" raises the prospect of a new, technology-driven educational system.
  • Handheld devices that aid teachers and excite kids
  • Mobile apps that may replace traditional schooling in less-developed countries
  • How the iPhone, low-cost laptops, and netbooks are enabling a new wave of self-learning for kids as young as three
  • Can you say iPad?

Is it possible that this movement holds the beginnings of a more sophisticated, more effective, and more modern way of teaching?

Here's one GrandBob that can't wait!

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