E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

From the blog

Life In A Perpetual Learning State

Gran Canaria - Caldera De Los Marteles in the WinterThere are plenty of rather inspiring short video clips out there that help define some of the transformational changes we are all going through, and / or being affected by, in multiple ways whether at work, or in our personal lives. I would probably venture to state that there isn’t a single aspect of us all, as humans part of a now more global and complex society than ever, that there isn’t a single aspect in our day to day lives that may not be affected by technology, specially, that thing called the Internet or that other preferred term by a whole bunch of us known as The Social Web. Even our own education system is being affected by it quite a bit and probably without an option to ever look back. And that’s eventually a good thing!

Have a look into this week’s inspiring video clip that I bumped into a few hours back and which I think is going to give us all a great start into a new week at work, and plenty of food for thought, too! Specially, if you are heavily involved with the Learning and Education field, which, as most of you know already, is another one of my other passions, specially the concept of Social Learning in a work environment.

The YouTube video tries to describe, and very effectively, in my opinion, the paradigm shifts we have all been witnessing, and experiencing!, for the last few years, around the topic of Education in the 20th century and Education in the 21st century. That comparison lasts for a little bit over 4 minutes and it’s worth while watching, for sure! It’s exciting times for learners nowadays, specially, if you compare the learning styles from those two centuries and what an eye-opening role technology, and the Social Web, has been having all along over the course of time, to the point, like I have already said, that the current Social Web has managed to transform, tremendously, the way we view both education and learning, whether at a classroom, or while on the job. Certainly, the learning from our fathers’ (Even that one of my own generation!) is no longer the learning from our children and youngsters today.

At least, it shouldn’t be. It’s that impact of technology that’s helping us re-frame the way we view education today, going from that “Filling the vessel” to that other “Kindling the fire” (What a fantastic metaphor, by the way, coming out from the video clip itself…); going from retelling to discovery; going from information transfer to learning to learn; going from timed based learning to outcome based learning; going from being textbook driven to research based driven; going from passive learning to active learning; going from working in isolation to collaboration (is everything); and the list goes on and on and on…

In short, making that final transition from school being irrelevant and meaningless to the students to having curriculum being connected to the students’ interest, experiences and talents, which is really funny, because I still find it pretty amazing how as soon as learners enter and engage on a learning activity they are presumed to be leaving behind the various tools they have loved to use and learn from in their own personal lives as if they could no longer use them for that particular learning activity as it would most probably not add anything further up than noise. Ha! Yet, it’s what they do on a constant basis as my good friend Harold Jarche has been claiming all along with his mantra of “Life in perpetual beta“. Life in a perpetual learning state!

Thus whether you are a learner, or an educator, and whether you are getting more or less exposure to the Social Web in your current learning activities “21st Century Education vs. 20th Century Education” surely is a great reminder of the giant leaps we need to be making to help prepare the road for the leaders of tomorrow, if not already today! Because after all, and like it’s mentioned on the video clip as well, if you were given a choice of what learning system you would want for you and for those around you, which one would you go for? Not sure what you would think, but somehow I would suspect the answer, this time around, is an easy one… if we would be prepared for it…

Are we?

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2 comments

  1. Admittedly, the way they described the 20th was exactly my school experience in so many ways.
    The problem is, though we see a new horizon, the educational systems of the world, for younger kids especially does not.
    If I did not have to earn a living I would be home schooling my kids. as it is I do it regarding electronics, mechanical engineering and many other “how things work” discussions with of course hands on work.
    My son at 4 was fixing his power wheels.
    But one thing which is still disturbing.
    The inability to think about a solution. The US kids are taught based on what is on the exams in many cases which leads to a Microsoft way of “click here, do that” with no concept of the underlying functions or how to fix them if there is a problem.

    1. Hi Keith! Oh, gosh, it looks like, even though we may have been separated by a big pond, we have shared pretty much the same schooling system back in the day!! I, too, feel we need to step up the way our education systems work, including, why not?, home schooling. I am not sure over there, but over here it’s still frown upon, when, imo, it shouldn’t. It should be fully embraced as an enhancement of current limited education provided. All to everyone’s advantage, for sure!

      I surely agree with you on something very important we should not ignore when being a learner: be a critical thinker, a problem solver, someone who cross checks the facts and as a result of that piece of “research” is capable of making an informed opinion versus whatever else and be able to comfortably host a conversation about it. I think those are pretty important and critical skills we should be able to inspire in all learners, whether at traditional schools and / or at home.

      Thanks for that reminder!

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