Remember when every teacher heaved a sigh of relief when they heard the news “School’s out for summer” and they could enjoy their holiday? Now school’s out – completely.
Granted, basic formal education is still a good idea for young kids, who need to learn life skills, like how to handle things when our smart devices misbehave, but what’s the point of congregating at a physical site, just to be told what you already know, by someone who’s not necessarily as smart as you? That’s ‘old school’ for sure.
We have for years now been ‘augmenting’ our learning with high tech toys connected to the cloud, and some of the more progressive places have been experimenting with the dialectic method, allowing kids to do their own research, then debating differing views in class. Some schools even operate virtual classrooms, where the discussions are conducted by holocam, and the learners might be anywhere, at home or at the cabin by the lake.
But it’s not 2020 anymore. Truly savvy educators realize that learning is a lifelong thing, and the sooner we get out there and start doing, while learning along the way, the better our chances are to succeed, in an exponential future.
That’s the better method, and tech is letting us do it. Pervasive computing, the unseen mesh of smart devices and sensors, embedded in everyday objects – what Dad used to call “the thinking web” or the “internet of thinking things” – is providing us with a constant flow of stimuli to get our brains working and thinking for themselves.
It’s subtle, but it works. Learning by doing is so effective. And anyway, if I need to know something I hardly need to ask; Alexa or Alpha always have the right answer. So I guess school’s out, forever!