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What can you offer a student that they can’t get from google?

Last week in a conference with my student teacher I asked him what can you give the students that they can’t get from the internet. Today I can across a comment Charlie Rot left on Wesley Fryer’s blog post about “Actively opposing creativity fatigue.” I think it is perfect and would like to post it here.

Creative fatigue is what prevents schools from changing and moving away from the industrial model based on an agricultural calendar. I think one interesting way to jolt the reality home at a faculty meeting would be to do the following:

Bring in a savy 12 year old from another school. Ask each teacher to have brought a copy of their latest test with them. In most schools this will be some multiple choice or true / false bit that is easy to grade and requires memorization.

The 12 year old with google in a matter of minutes answers all the questions correctly having had no previous experience in the class. The presenter then poses the question, “Why do we need you?” “Are you relevant?” “In light of what just happened why should the district, state, school employ you?”

It would be fun and powerful.

Powerful yes. Fun? I would love to be there and see the facial expressions! Can I guess what the reaction of the teachers would be — “That’s why we don’t let the kids use the computers. They wouldn’t learn anything. They would just rely on their computers.”

In a similar post that I read the author suggested that the teachers bring in their lesson plans from the month to their faculty meeting. At the meeting their would be baskets with the different levels of Bloom’s taxonomy labeled on each. The teachers would place their lessons in the baskets that match the level of thinking in the lesson. Which basket would be overflowing?


1 comment

  1. Kevin Honeycutt has introduced me to his idea of the 1 hour expert. I’ve translated it into the 24 hour expert. Give the kids a topic and 24 hours. Encourage the use of Google Alerts and other RSS feeds. Come back with raw info about the topic.

    NOW. Let’s apply this knowledge to what we already know and what we need to know.

    If you were asked to give a 30-minute talk/presentation that was going to occur in 48 hours, you could most certainly do that. So why can’t our kids? Is it not considered “deep learning” by those very same teachers who brought in the MC and T/F tests?
    Give me a break.

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