How technology can actually change education

By Roger C. Shank


You can’t read something about education these days without reading about how technology will change everything.


Sorry to be a downer, but technology will change nothing if what is meant by technology is that we have new ways of delivering the same old material.


The basic philosophy behind education for millennia has been that experts know stuff, so the experts (or their agents) will tell you the stuff you need to know. The problem is learning simply doesn’t work that way. People learn by trying things out and seeing how it goes. Babies learn by crying and seeing what happens, or sticking something in their mouth and seeing what happens. Adults learn how to manage people by managing them and seeing who quits or who complains and seeing if they succeed at getting what they need to happen to actually happen. Pilots learn to fly by flying but since the air flight simulator is a safer way to practice they are better off using that.

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