Warning: Long article is long.
Ever since the announcement of iBooks 2.0 I was livid on how people thinks that apple is causing the paradigm shift in education. Maybe what was getting to me more, is how people know so little about the process of learning, and how to teach. Since they are a luddite when it comes to technology, they (people, parents, educators) see that any technology brought into the classroom is beneficial (believe me, it isn’t).
Let’s start off with the idea of “what is teaching?” Let’s follow that up with “what does it mean to teach kindergarten vs elementary school vs high school vs college?” When you really think about it, the definition changes, based on age, but the purpose stays the same. You are some expert in a field where you have to impart knowledge to the people who pay money (albeit tax dollars) to hear what you have to say. The way you do it makes you valuable. If you can socialize it, then you take the greatness out, and reduce it to an algorithm. Reducing it to certain characteristics or methods, isn’t inherently bad (just like socialism), but who becomes that writer of the “best education has to offer?”
Remember the teacher teachers, nothing else. A good teacher can teach without a book (I’ve done that enough times). A book, a computer, calculators, projectors, ipads, etc… are just teaching tools. If they were better than the teacher, than teachers would have been replaced with a book. The fact is, if students could just read a book, then schools would be obsolete. I teach computer programming. A course that is inherently a holding tank requiring you to practice. Do you think I can do a better job than any O’Reilly book. The reason I have a job is because you need someone to explain and force you to produce. I teach comprehension and adaptability more than anything else. A teenager won’t bother to read the drivers test manual, then complain that they failed it. The most important test in a teenager’s life (to them) and they can’t pass it. All they have to do is read the manual.