Imagine that, day after day, all you have to eat and drink are bread and water. When that’s all that you’ve ever had, it tastes good. Even wonderful, sometimes.
Imagine that on one special day someone gives you a little taste of honey. Maybe a small smear on your piece of bread. From then on, of course, your normal diet never tastes as good again.
So what? Well, I think that increasingly our schools will have to recognize that…
Our kids have tasted the honey.
When our kids go home, they get the opportunity to interact and connect and collaborate with people all over the globe. If they wish, they can do this on a regular basis.
When our kids go home, they get the opportunity to learn about areas in which they’re interested and to act on issues about which they’re passionate. They get the opportunity to be creative. They can make and share videos and stories and pictures and other things and, if others see value in them, find audiences in the hundreds or thousands or even millions.
When our kids go home, they get the opportunity to be immersed in personalized, individualized learning environments. We call them ‘the Internet’ or ‘video games.’ These environments are characterized by active inquiry and – in the case of video games – continual problem-solving.
What do our kids get when they go to school?
Do they get the chance to regularly and frequently interact with diverse people from all over the planet? Nope. If they’re lucky, they might get the chance to interact with other students in their class, who like as not come from the same place and/or culture that they do.
Do they get the chance to be active content producers rather than passive information consumers? Do they get the chance to reach authentic audiences? Nope. If they’re lucky, they get to be creative every once in a while for a ‘special project’ or occasionally exhibit their work one evening at school for the local community.
Do they get the chance to experience individualized learning? Nope. Instead, they’re exposed to a mass model of education, one in which they’re lucky if occasionally the lesson is at “their level.”
Of course there are some exceptions to what I’ve written here, but for the most part this holds true for most students in most schools.
Our kids have tasted the honey and they have no interest in going back to what was.