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Archive for September, 2011

Nineteenth, Twentieth Century Learners Move Over

Twenty first century learning is hype.

I’d say remove the phrase from all recent articles extolling the state of our present education system.

I’d focus on something else.

A young woman lives just outside Nairobi, Kenya.

She has a cell phone and it connects to the Internet. She has discovered she can attend classes at Harvard using mobile technology.

She is self-reliant.

She is motivated.

We are experiencing the greatest revolution the planet has seen since the industrial one a few hundred years ago. That one took a hundred years to get rolling. The one now has taken fifteen or so years.

Maybe that is why we aren’t thinking so clearly.

Yes, we are entering the twenty first century. We entered the twentieth, the nineteenth, all to hoopla.

So what?

The revolution that is happening underneath our feet, isn’t about how we teach math or English. It isn’t about how to write research papers. It doesn’t concern itself with IB or SAT scores. It doesn’t look to business to boost it up.

I call it the great leveling.

That young woman in Kenya with small change in her pocket stands a greater chance of rising to the top of the economic ladder than the scions of those with cash to spread all around the globe. She has a gift.  She knows what it feels like to have nothing. She has fire in her belly. She has a cell phone. She can learn and has access to the best teachers worldwide. She knows from twitter and Facebook what is out there.

She has a chance to succeed.

The twenty first century is her friend.

She is a true twenty first century learner.

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