This will revolutionize education (not!)

Education is a complex subject.

Even defining what education is seems intractable.

We agree that schools, and people who are in them — students, teachers, and school admins — and the activities that take place in the classroom during the times when the classroom operates are essential parts of “education”. To this, we can include everything that has to do with schools and schooling: co-curricular / extracurricular activities, after-school programs, sports, and physical education, soft skills, sahsiah, discipline, civic-mindedness, and so on.

Beyond that, defining what education is is a bit dicey.

We can sprawl the definition into all directions until “education” covers everything under the sun. But it helps no one to talk in generalities. To avoid the banal, we have to be specific. When I refer to education, what I mean the education process as practiced in schools (the other types, while important, should be discussed separately).

Education is simple: impart knowledge, passion, skills, hopes, dreams, life lessons, and everything you deem good to your students, so they can be complete human beings. Simple, but not easy.

Everything in education should be geared towards achieving this objective. Insofar as anything helps reach this goal, it is useful. Otherwise, it is just a distraction. And that includes technology.

Do watch this video on the past technologies that were supposed to “revolutionize” education:

(Spoiler alert: All of them failed.)

The takeaway from the video is: do not buy the hype.

The current top comment for the video on Youtube:

I have been teaching for 48 years & what past students have always said about me was: Thank you for caring about me, for making me feel important, for making me feel special, getting me excited, motivated & inspired, about what you were teaching. How I was always enthusiastic & excited about what I was teaching, & how I took an INTEREST in them. One student I taught thanked me for giving him a condolence card when his dog got run over it made him want to do the best he could do in my class because I gave him my personal time to buy the card and then to write words that helped ease the pain of his loss. It’s because of all of the above that I believe technology will never take over from teachers. However, technology used in conjunction with the good teacher’s (as outlined above) teaching a big fat YES. At 73 I am continually developing my expertise with technology so I can, where appropriate, incorporate with my teaching. I am so excited about teaching next year in my 74th year & 49th year of teaching in this wonderful and rewarding profession.

– Neil Hammond

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