Peter Berger, aka Poor Elijah writes about the scholastic decline. It’s worth reading the full piece for it’s sarcastic humor, irascible wit & the poignant display of a teacher’s anguish (I’m sure he’ll kill me for that sentence alone) 😉
American kids aren’t in trouble because they’ve mastered old twentieth century skills and knowledge that no longer apply in the new twenty-first century. They’re in trouble because too few have mastered the age-old skills and knowledge that have mattered throughout the centuries.
…What’s supposed to make books exciting is what’s in them, not the tricks you can play with the video portion of the program. Possessing knowledge is more important than pushing the right buttons. Instead of effusing over how your student clicked the mouse, ask him to explain what he learned, with words. Have him write the words down. When he can do all that clearly and cogently, then tell me how excited you are.
…I try to make history come alive for my students, too, but learning history isn’t mostly about “a-ha moments.” It’s about laboring through a lot of information and ideas that are often less than magical.
Therein lies the real trouble. Learning is labor. We’re selling the fantasy that technology can change that.
It can’t. No technology ever has.
Gutenberg’s press only made it easier to print books, not easier to read and understand them.