Here's a gem from Digital Learning Now with the text of News Corporation Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch's address to the e-G8 Forum in Paris on 24th may this year. Murdoch urged Internet companies to pull out the stops in developing digital education programmes to revolutionise the world's classrooms, complaining that pupils are still condemned to dreary "Victorian-age" classrooms despite the potential of the web for revolutionising education.
I haven't often felt aligned with what this chap has had to say, but there's some compelling stuff in this talk. He holds nothing back, accusing schools of being the last holdout from the digital revolution.
he argues that simply throwing money at the problem doesn’t work (and cites his own experience of having tried this as proof.) To those who argue that the problem is the kids – that they're too poor or from bad families – he responds strongly with "…absolute rubbish. This is arrogant, elitist and utterly unacceptable."
His solution is straight forward, and has a sound pedagogical basis; "Every study will tell you that the more interactive and intimate learning is, the better the student will perform." The key here? Software that will engage students and help teach them concepts and learn to think for themselves. Murdoch also argues the case for personalisation as a second key to resolving this.
His final quote captures the intensity of how he feels about this:
In our own backyards, we have millions of young people whose minds are the key to our future. It is time to insist that our schools use every technology we can to unlock their potential – and treat them as the precious resource they are.
Certainly something for us to think about – for those outside education, how we can respond with resources that will meet this challenge, and for those inside, to stop defending the status quo and opening the doors for this sort of learning to happen.