Sunday, January 10, 2010

Aggregate, Filter and Connect

I was reading Networks and the Information Glut and this quote really hit me.

"The fundamentals of innovative thought haven’t changed since the 18th Century – it’s always been aggregate, filter and connect."

I thought back to how I learned in school. I aggregated information by listening to my teachers, reading the textbook and taking notes in my notebook. I filtered information by making or answering review sheets from my notes or by re-reading my textbook. I then connected with my friends to study at somebody's house or asking my teacher questions if I had them while I was in class. I would then answer the questions on tests or projects that I would never look at again.

Research was very similar. I would go to the library and find some books. Write the information down on some notecards and then maybe talk to my friends or teacher about what to write. Finally I would write or type a paper that only my teacher would ever see.

That was late 80s early 90s (I graduated high school in 1991). How much has the world changed since then? How do I aggregate, filter and connect now? Yet as I look in the classroom, many of the same ways I did things are still being done.

It's still aggregate, filter and connect. We just need to update what it means to do those things.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

What does the Tablet mean TO education not IN education

As I was reading David Jakes' Tablet Schmablet Redux post, I realized that there are a ton of people talking about how Tablets can be used in the classroom to make education better. While I won't deny I would love to have sets of those to put into classrooms, I don't think that is the most important part of this new evolution.

As David notes the Tablet technology is coming, there is no denying that. "There appears to be new technologies emerging from Apple, OLPC, Dell, NotionInk , and yes, even Google. There’s even the Mag+, which seems to be more reader than anything else." And yes it has the potential to eventually change textbooks as well as book reading as it pertains to the classroom, but I think we can agree that as with everything else it will take a while for it to penetrate education.

What I think is harder to argue with is the fact that it will change reading, especially newspapers and magazines. And there is a good chance that it will change it dramatically within two to three years. Look at how the iPhone has changed the mobile phone market, I expect a similar change from the Tablet. When it does, hyperlinked writing, photo slideshows and video journalism will become what we expect.

So even if we don't use them in the classroom as quickly as people are predicting, normal consumers will be using them. It will change how we deliver news and how we write professionally.

So when today's ninth graders graduate, news decimation and writing will look significantly different.

Doesn't that mean we should be taking a hard look at how we are teaching these students to write?

Or do we continue to teach them to write the current way because that's how they will write in college because as we know education will be the last to change?

The Tablet (or whatever you want to call it) will be a game-changer but maybe not IN education. Should it be one TO education?