Wesch nails it right on the head when he explains that our education system, rooms included, is designed for a world in which information is scarce.
In this world, the teacher is the provider of information.
This is not the world we live in anymore.
The problem in our world is not access to information: It is access to too much information. Education should solve a new set of problems.
I don’t have THE answer – neither does Wesch, though he’s much closer to it than I am. But I can’t help but think about it most of the time. Here are some thoughts about what education should do to serve students in this day and age:
If the teacher is no longer the provider of information, maybe the teacher should be a guide to (parts of) the information space. A coach.
The teacher’s job becomes (not an exhaustive list):
- to guide students through advanced, highly targeted search techniques in several (kinds of) information spaces
- to help students map out the fragmented, multivocal information space; or to provide through schemata for reconciling this pluralirty and fragmentation (postmodernism, anyone?)
- to help students make judgments about selecting and evaluating information
- to coach students about synthesizing and organizing these different types of information
- to teach students the skill of decision making: students should make decisions about the most effective ways to present information – instead of giving them recipes for papers, allow students to make decisions about presenting information
- to create learning experiences where students use the above techniques to solve real-life problems
- to adapt teaching style to students’ learning and technology usage styles
- in short, to coach flexible and nimble thinking, decision making, and adaptable communication/writing skills
What do you think? What are the ways in which the education system is failing? What should education do for students? What should the teacher’s job be?