I have been watching a lot of TED talks on my iPad while I have been working (I am looking forward to my new computer that will have a third screen that I can do that with). I have seen a lot of them before but I was looking for people who I think are inspirational in education. People who have a vision for where education is going and what we can accomplish.
People who are already rockstars. So it made sense that I start a regular, quick and dirty, series on the people who are driving the ideas that are going to change everything. Some you may have heard about, some perhaps not so much. All of them have ideas and visions for the future of tech, education or educational tech.
Sir Ken Robinson
It made sense for me to start this series with a UK native who is over here in the US trying to shake things up a bit.
I have to say I think he makes so much sense with what he says. The idea that educational systems worldwide are based on ideals and ideas from the Industrial Revolution and that any changes we make to the current system are just attempts to plug holes in a sinking ship. The idea that students are essentially prevented for excelling in what they are good at and what they love because society has been taught to believe that some skills are less useful than others.
This first video is from a TED talk in 2006. It is extremely popular and worth watching. Its just over 20 minutes long so get a cup of tea and put your feet up
Still with me? Awesome.
Lets just straight into the followup TED talk he did in 2010. In this talk the focus is on moving away from the standardized system of education towards one that is tailored to the interests and the needs of the individual, allowing the student to grow and thrive down whichever path they feel drawn to.
This final video is an excellent discussion reviewing the issues outlined in the previous and bringing in the additional issue of drugging restless children to keep them under control.
Everything this man says makes sense to me. I see the issues he is talking about every day where I work but I also appreciate that to make a change like this would take an enormous paradigm shift that would effect the whole of society from the very young to the very old. I believe it would be for the better and lead to a more productive and happier educational experience for everyone but we would have to be willing to try it before we find out if he is right.