Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology

Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology written by Allan Collins & Richard Halverson, offers some insights from a balanced point of view, is succinct and easy to follow, and is one that I believe all administrators and educators in positions of responsibility should read. It could and should form the basis for discussion about educational change in schools, (in particular, required changes in pedagogy), and would aid in the construction of school vision, strategic and annual implementation plans.

Halverson and Collins call for a rethink about what is important to learn in a world with ubiquitous access. With the explosion of the availability in information and indeed the amount of available information, students now more than ever, need to learn about how to learn, rather than acquiring more information through passive conduits. The rate of information and technological development is increasing exponentially and if you believe Cisco Systems Inc. futurist Dave Evan, in five years we’ll be creating the equivalent of 92 million Libraries of Congress worth of data a year . No one can now know all there is to know – it is an impossible task.

Halverson and Collins share a a series of questions that they argue act as a framework and should encompass the types of thinking and action required for adaptive thinking in an information-rich world.

1)From what viewpoint are we seeing, reading or hearing this?

2)How do we know what we know? What’s the evidence, and how reliable is it?

3)How are things, people or events connected? What is the cause and effect? How do they fit?

4)What if…? Could things be otherwise? What are or were the alternatives?

5)So what? Why does it matter? What does it all mean? Who cares?


I was lucky enough to be able to participate in an interview with the authors of this book on Tuesday, February the 16th at 12pm AEST. The interview was facilitated by Will Richardson and was held using Elluminate with over 100 participants actively engaged in discussion via the backchannel and having the ability to ask the authors questions directly. Listen to the recording here.

With the explosion in information, the proliferation of web technologies and the emergence of new forms of teaching and learning, what role will school play in the future? Historically, school was identified as the place of learning – increasingly this is no longer the case.

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