I always count it a good day when I learn something new. Today was a good day. I listened to a podcast recorded a few days ago where Steve Hargadon (Classroom 2.0) interviewed George Siemens, one of the current gurus pushing radical education reform. I guess I say this knowing that we are all a little confused as to what education reform really is and what it should look like.
Siemens interview (if you couldn’t tell from the title) was all about connectivism, a term that I was unfamiliar with until today. I listened to the interview and also did a little looking around on the net. This is what I came up with in one sentence. Connectivism supports the idea of teaching student how learn through “systems” rather than having students learn from rote memorization and drills. Connectivism supports teaching students how to find information rather than making sure they know it all.
This really got me to thinking of the current way many schools work. Most certainly don’t work in this manner. Many classrooms have a captive audience of students who stare dully at the board while the teacher flips through PowerPoint slides on the board. Instead of lecturing, Siemens suggests that with the technology that teachers have at their disposal, there is never an excuse for lecturing in schools today. Instead, teachers should be recording their lectures and using class time for more worthy purposes. I took this to mean that maybe teachers need to make kids think.
I look forward to researching more of Siemen’s ideas. Here’s a clip of Siemens in action giving his two cents on de-schooling society.