6/15/2004

The Future of Education

Because I plan on being a high school social studies teacher, articles that relate to education catch my eye. The predictions that Arnold Kling makes in the article "A 2020 Vision for Education" are quite entertaining but when taken literally, scary as well. It could, and may, happen.

Technology is constantly improving, or at least changing, and Kling talks about the opportunity costs that education have to consider. One point was made about personal relations. With the use of technology on the rise it is a normal scene to have children as young as 4 sitting in front of a computer--for hours. What is going to happen socially for these children when they spend most of their time "visiting" with a machine be it a program or via e-mail and chatroom? How are our children going to learn how to relate to others in a social situation? But at the same time we have as many concerns about children who aren't keeping up with technological advancements because "it is the future" and how can anyone succeed without technology?

Read the article by Kling, it may get you as confused and angry as I got!

4 comments:

Dr. Tufte said...

I'm not sure what to make of Arnold Kling's forecast either. It didn't make me angry, but I was perplexed by some of the predictions.

As to the opportunity costs of education, I'd like to make a totally different observation. The latest research in economic growth shows that the skills that people get paid the most for (historically) involve pattern recognition rather than following rules. Most things that can be done following rules are eventually automated. The corrolary to this is that the wages paid for pattern recognition work are going up. So, I think we ought to make the opportunity costs of education in pattern recognition lower - I don't want to encourage having kids sit in front of computers (mine don't), but it might be the right way to go. I don't know...

Lizzie said...

There were a couple of his predictions that I found interesting. One of them was the idea that the importance of knowing how to learn will be the new thing. What is so new about that? Isn’t that why we have been going to school since we were six? Obviously one cannot learn everything in a classroom. Teachers are supposed to be teaching children how to think, analyze, and brainstorm critically. At least my teachers taught me that, maybe the schools I attended were the exceptions.

Falcon said...

Today technology is really essential for many things in real life. One thing is for education. The introduction of technology for education is a good way of teaching efficiently. On the other hand, some teachers are always depending on using technology. I think there is something important they have to teach children without using technology. It's how to communicate with other people. This is a basic way of learning(I mean people usually learn something from other people) and the most important thing teachers have to teach children.

anonymous said...

This is an interesting subject. It is incredible how much technological advances can shape our activities and our interactions with others. Instant messaging or AIM and cell phones have really introduced a new dimension to relationships. Cells phones can be handy, but also make people available at all times. I do not have one, but isn't having a cell phone stressful? Instant messaging does not appeal to me, because I rather see my friends or hear their voice. I guess if I had a cell phone that would be easier at all times of the day. With cells phones though I think conversations become shorter because we are able to be in contact with more people. Does this reduce the quality of our conversations?

In the textbook the author discusses how leisure has changed over the years. In the past people cherised long conversations and meals. Today we have fast food which frees up time. When we have free time we do activities rather than sit around a talk for hours. It is funny that on family trips many people depend on fast food. Leisure and convenience seem to be linked in our society. How and where do we draw the line of separation?

As technology advances and our preferences change, it challenges our intellectual and social development. I think we cannot continuing advancing without paying more attention to issues such as those addressed in your posting. Is it healthy for people to be on the cell phone, computer, or palm pilot more than having face-to-face conversations? Can moral and social development keep up with the pace of technology?