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High School English Teacher, CT

I completely agree!! I find

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I completely agree!! I find that so many of my freshman and sophomore students can easily identify good examples or information when I ask for it, but they seem to have a much harder time explaining their ideas, analyzing them, and evaluating the information. When students are able to use technology to their advantage, they have more opportunities to evaluate information right away. We can use these experiences to talk to our students about how they make these decision. Meta-cognition is incredibly important for growing adolescents.
Technology is only becoming more and more developed and important for daily life. I firmly believe that we should use it to our advantage as much as possible to help our students become more well informed and responsible members of society.

Educational Therapist/ Jr. High English Teacher

As we struggle to understand

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As we struggle to understand the way changes in technology affect the learning process, teachers have to play catch up to understanding how to develop stimulating curriculum for the way our students learn. From the beginning of my teaching career, I noticed it is not the what that a child learns it is the how that impacts them long term. Each child has specific interests and learns in different ways. It is tapping into that in the most effective way possible that makes teaching these digital age students challenging. I agree that teaching strategies from the past need to be revamped in order to best serve these children. There is a need for change in the way teachers are taught to educate children with a priority on brain based education and development of learning strategies in the classroom.
The other day I was working with an 8th grader. When I asked him why we go to school he answered, "to make my mom happy." When I asked him why he thought homework and tests were given in the classroom, he answered, "because that is their job, and they want me to suffer." I chuckled at his ideas of what education is. I asked him if he learned outside of school. He said no. So I said you just walk around without thinking when you are not in school? He didn't understand that we learn whenever we think of something new or try something we haven't before. When I told him that teachers didn't have to give tests other than standardized test set by the school to see if he is learning what he is supposed to he was blown away. Testing is a measure of a good teacher. It helps the teacher know if the information that they are trying to deliver is reaching the child. A test is not a grade for a child, it is a grade for the teacher. The sooner the teachers accept that as part of their responsibility and personal reflection, the better teachers they will become. There is no such thing as a child who doesn't learn, only teachers who fail to inspire a child to learn, or change the way they teach to suit the child's way of learning. The child is not getting paid to sit in class. It is the teacher's job to ensure that learning happens to the best ability of the partnership between teacher and student.
In the future I hope that testing will be more about planning curriculum than it is about ratings or ranking a student. We are all a sum of our experiences. It is finding the right combination of those experiences to deliver that content of what is supposed to be learned in a classroom. If a computer could do the job of a teacher to inspire students, then we wouldn't need teachers anymore. Teachers need to be the ones to understand the student and their needs. With that, true education happens.

I agree we are on the verge

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I agree we are on the verge of a huge shirt in the structure of learning. While memorizing the facts is required to understand the concepts, its seen as a waste of time in the eyes of many students. With information literally at their finger tips it is the argument for memorization of details is mute. This is why I am a strong supporter of the common core standards and implementation. We need to teach the students how to process information. How to sort through credible sources. How to read and understand the information that they find. How to synthesize information from various sources and utilize their resources for to their maximum potential.

PCET, Professionally Certified Educational Therapist, Educational coach

My Prediction

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Dr. Judy Willis, in her June 13, 2012 blog entitled “Bad for the Brain: Goodbye to Unsustainable Education Models”, adroitly predicted one of the benefits technology will bring to education. She posits that future educators will need to de-emphasize memorization to free the brain to learn new skills for tomorrow’s workforce. The challenge to our future economy is whether the American educational system will be agile enough to embrace this new way of divergent thinking about what we teach and how we assess.
The need for different educational and thinking skills is aptly delineated in Dr. Tony Wagner’s list of “Seven Survival Skills”, from his book, The Global Achievement Gap: Why Even Our Best Schools Don’t Teach The New Survival Skills Our Children Need – And What We Can Do About It (Basic Books, 2008):
1. Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving
2. Collaboration across networks and leading by influence
3  Agility and adaptability
4.  Initiative and entrepreneurialism
5.  Effective oral and written communication
6. Accessing and analyzing information
7. Curiosity and imagination
The current educational model of memorization Dr. Willis describes as “if it’s information, teach it and test it” only partially addresses the needs of our information age and beyond. Dr. Wagner recalls one CEO who lamented that bright, recent, college graduates could not adequately produce persuasive written communication that he needed for his company (see #5). (http://asiasociety.org/education/resources-schools/professional-learning...) How can future employees respond quickly if their pre-frontal cortex is under-developed? How can American students compete for employment if other nations are ahead of the educational curve?
Dr. Willis shared that over-emphasis on rote memorization of too great a volume of information over-stresses the brain and detours our thinking away from the “rational, pre-frontal cortex”. This part of the brain is where the higher-order thinking occurs as described in “Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning”, such as the Apply, Create, and Evaluate levels and not just Recall and Comprehend (Krathwohl, 2001).
My prediction: Savvy consumers of education will respond to the demands for skills and creative thinking in tomorrow’s workforce by seeking alternative sources, i.e., even schools outside of the traditional US educational system, and there will be a movement away from traditional schooling as we see it today.
Krathwohl, D. (2001) A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching & Assessing. THEORY INTO PRACTICE, Volume 41, Number 4, Autumn 2002 College of Education, The Ohio State University. Retrieved from http://www.unco.edu/cetl/sir/stating_outcome/documents/Krathwohl.pdf
Singmaster, H.     Seven Skills Students Need for the Future (Website post).  Retrieved from http://asiasociety.org/education/resources-schools/professional-learning/seven-skills-students-need-their-future

Middle School Vice Principal / K-8 Curriculum Coordinator

I do, however, agree with her

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I do, however, agree with her ultimate point. The web should be available to students during assessments. Her supporting arguments do not do the point justice.

Middle School Vice Principal / K-8 Curriculum Coordinator

Naive and Flat

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As someone who is a HUGE proponent of the application of brain science to pedagogy, I am highly disappointed by this article. The argument proposed is alive and hotly contested in schools, but this is a simplistic and one sided treatment.

Setting aside the weak journalistic quality (where is there an acknowledgement of opposing views?), the author fails to observe that the most vital prerequisite to successful research is a preexisting knowledge base of the content at hand.

Grandfather of 2 preschool students, 1 first grade student in Atlanta

“I’m not sure, but I can find

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“I’m not sure, but I can find out and get back to you!” I should think that if possible at the time to set down with the student and say let's see if we can find the answer together thereby teaching both the skill of finding the correct answer as well as the answer itself. I realize that time may not permit in all cases, but it would seem to me to be the appropriate thing to do.

Life Skills Support Teacher

Illogical Title to an Improbable Issue

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Jessica, did you truly think very carefully about the title of your post before typing it out?

How can "reality" of the future exist if the future isn't even here yet? Correct me if I am wrong, but aren't we still living in the present?

Or perhaps you have a crystal ball that you've peered into to make this bold assertion with any certainty?

It's more likely, based on the responses from the other teachers of your generation, that you've swilled from the same vat of sour Kool-Aid as they have and thus, are simply parroting their line of pedogogic folderol.

As a life skills teacher, I know that if you want to teach disabled students to be resourceful, you must teach them vocational and daily living skills as a priority. All they need is a simple PECS book that costs next to nothing to create. The great thing is that you haven't contributed one dime to the greedy creeps and hucksters that work in Silicon Valley.

Allowing the use of

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Allowing the use of technology to seek information causes a shift in thinking for teachers who were traditionally the knowledge-holders. This past year I began to allow students to use technology for this purpose and it was liberating for me to stop fighting the battle against the phones! Although they can be very beneficial when used appropriately, they are also one of the biggest time wasters when students are side-tracked by games and/or social media at the wrong times. I had not previously thought about the inevitable use of technology for standardized tests. It will be interesting to see how tests change in the future to allow for technology. Thank you for your thought-provoking post.

5th Grade Teacher from VA

Responding to the reality of the future!

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I guess the reality of the future, and even now, is that we are a society who tries to do everything. I am a 5th grade teacher of a special education inclusion class. Please do not misunderstand my next comment. I believe every child can learn and has the potential for cognitive development. However, I will tell you that I have a number of students who when they have the appropriate tools are able to achieve success. Some students have personal dictionaries they have created, some are able to use language dictionaries on every assessment and many other accommodations. Some may say that it is reasonable due to their disabilities; however, I would agree that we should teach all students to be resourceful. Dr. Willis commented, “Consider, also, that calculator access for these standardized tests did not reduce the instruction in -- or development of -- real arithmetic skills.” I would agree that with the amount of information required for students to learn, it is imperative to teach students how to use the tools of the times. In response to a student’s question, I have said many times, “I’m not sure, but I can find out and get back to you!” The students love that because it shows them that no one knows everything and that we have the ability to “find out” about the things we are curious about and in the future, things they need to know. I think a combination of rote memory and information retrieval for high steaks testing would be the most beneficial for all!

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