Schools are full of things that our descendants will look back on and laugh out loud at: ringing a bell and expecting 1,000 teenagers to be simultaneously hungry; putting 25 children together in a box because they were born between two Septembers; assessing children based on how well they work alone; and so on.
But schools can be wonderful places -- just think of the Christmas production, or school musical, and you will see a large hall filled with children of all ages, determined to create the best ever version of Grease (or whatever), with youngsters chasing the older ones, their role models, who in turn gain from working with the youngsters. Small groups are working on the front-of-house details, the choreography, painting the set, rehearsing scenes, sorting out the lighting technology, and doing all of this in parallel. If things are not going too well they will stay late, come in early, work though weekends...it is a clear vision of just how wonderfully seductive learning might be, yet schools seem not to notice this and put the same children back in their boxes, only to be amazed at their disengagement.
This might have gone on forever, but mercifully the great Trojan horse that is technology has forced us to think afresh. Back at the dawn of technology in schools, folks struggled to imagine what it might do that was useful; today it can do anything you like and the tougher question is, "Well, what would you like learning to be like?"
Professor Stephen Heppell highlights the impact of digital media on pedagogy. Stephen's voice is the loudest in asking educators to move away from the factory school model of the 20th century and toward a more agile learning environment of constant adaption.