Is Google the McDonalds of modern education? Well, not exactly…

In a recent TEDx talk, speaker John Runkles, talks about having the courage to reduce the torrent of information being directed at our students. To slow it all down. To give our kids capacity to stop, think and allow time for reflection. Take a look at his very interesting perspective and let us know what you think.

As the president of Bulb Inc, an education technology company based in Fort Collins, Colorado, John is helping to define what the next generation of electronic learning tools will look like. And, it is this background and perspective that makes his thoughts on the topic particularly different:

For many of us, the web is to learning what fast food is to cuisine: quick, cheap, fattening. Massive quantities of low-quality information flood the modern student’s day, displacing genuine, original thought. The effective education technology of the future will slow down the student and make space for deep, original, creative thought.

The technology in our pockets, and on our desks and in our smart boards in our classrooms is not the problem. It’s the way we interact with it, that’s the problem. I used to have a professor who would say: ‘You don’t learn by reading the book. You don’t learn by coming to lectures. You don’t learn by working the homework problems. You learn by thinking.’ Do you know the difference between information and knowledge? Probably. Information is data, it’s facts. Knowledge is part of you. Knowledge affects the way  you think, feel, act. You build information into knowledge by thinking. That’s what the professor was saying.

We need a new approach to how we deal with our technology and our information. The courage to shut it off. To stop and think. Allow time for reflection. Because the modern student can never build knowledge out of information without time for thought.

How do you feel about the analogy? Hungry? Yeah, I’m a bit hungry… Oops, don’t get distracted. Let us know what you think in the comments below.


Feature image Hamburger icon designed by Abby Milberg for The Noun Project.

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