Sometu - the future of education in an Information Society
It was very interesting to see this question on the Sometu Network and even more interesting to see the wide array of future looking answers from Finns, who are without doubt among the best educated people in the world - especially in Maths Science and Technology (Science, Engineering and Technology, if you prefer) subjects. The view of independent learning, based on free information flows is something that is so alien to the situation we are faced with at the Eastern Cape schools we work with (Nkwalini, Dwesa, etc.). Just picturing the poor learners at Mndwaka JSS or Zwelenqaba SSS - left alone with technology tools to make their own way through is quite sadenning - because the Finnish trust in their familial and social contexts to such an extent that they can challenge their children to be more independent in learning, developing and playing. Our learners are still struggling to learn to read and write.
Nevertheless, I do believe that we have to start thinking this way and that the the first place to bring these thoughts in are the teachers. Many are open to new ideas (as long as they don't mean more work). They need to be comfortable with the concepts and to facilitate. E.g. at our project, the teachers use computer club learners to help give technology based classes on subjects like Geography. This leaves the Teacher to talk about the subject and learners who have difficulties with mice etc. are shown by other learners. This passing on of responsibility is the first step toward self-motivated and driven learning with the assistance of technology.
We are very hopeful.
June 9th 2009 09:42