Monday, 11 January 2016

Will education change like TV watching?

I think it is remarkable how my children watch TV - they've taught me a lot!

First of all - when I watch TV - I look at the time, date and plan to watch my show - with the advertisements in place - they typically decide to watch TV on the spur of the moment - when their day allows - and they decide then what they will watch and for how long.

If they are watching shows 'on demand' or from streaming sites they either have no advertisements or limited. Thus a typical 30 minute show is now 22 minutes - or that makes their time usage over 25% more efficient than my time.

Secondly, they watch what they want to watch when they feel like it - so they can adjust their viewing to their mood, time of day or whatever is their fancy.

Thirdly, they can change their mind as well - so if they start watching a show and decide they 'aren't feeling it' - they can pause and watch later and/or choose something else.

So what would this mean to education?

Educators would have to have the ability to have their lessons available on-line - this is possible but would require a lot of contract negotiation.

If lessons were online each student could choose the coursework that they wanted to do first - or in the order they wanted. So like people binge watch a show from start to finish in a marathon, students could binge on a subject matter at a time or complete in the manner that they want.

While it is hard for me to imagine these changes to education, never say never - who would have thought that in my generation we could watch shows on TV when we wanted and how we wanted. Who would have thought that the consumer has more control than the big TV networks.

It is also interesting to note that many of the 'hit' shows are now on non-network channels - so what does that mean for education? New modes of education? Would governments allow education to be formalized outside of bricks and mortar? As long as public education is free there will be less demand for change - if education in K-12 has fees than expect change.

I would also anticipate change in the next generation of learners as they won't accept traditional education or to be educated like their parents.

How we teach children will also change - if they have access to all data at the tip of their fingers - rote learning becomes redundant and research and assessing skills are more important.

I believe that the shake up in education will be from the learners and their demands - as they will act, think and want different things than their forefathers.

Let's remember that a K-12 classroom from 100 years ago - hasn't really changed today - there must be a disruption in education and learning - the question will be when?

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