Learning for the 21st Century


Will O’Bryan writes, The world is changing very fast…

The world is changing very fast, and teachers should not try to stop it or get in the way, but instead adapt to it, according to Steven Kalmon, head of the organization “Learning for the 21st Century.”He gave a lecture Friday at the Summer Teacher conference at ArapahoeCommunity College on how the American culture is changing to be more focused on technology. Kolman used Tillman, the skateboarding dog, as a metaphor for this. Tillman himself is a teacher who is mastering a new technology (in this case, the skateboard), and the dog sitting at the side isn’t getting anywhere for refusal to adapt. Kolman then brought up many more new trends on the internet, such as social bookmarking, Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Games (MMORPG’s), Mash-ups, Wikipedia, and YouTube. Kalmon then brought up that there have been multiple stages of human civilization, or waves, listed below: Pre-Wave: Hunter-Gatherer. All humans are hunter-gatherers. There is no civilization. Wave 1, 4000 BC: Agricultural. Civilization begins. Wave 2, 1650 AD: Industry. Humankind invents corporations, and life becomes more rigid and controlled. Wave 3, 1955 AD: Information. Mass-Media invented. Information is distributed, not dispensed like in Wave 2. (prediction) Wave 4, 2050 AD: Cybernetic. Average computer has processing power equal to all human brains… combined, and many humans are part robot. The future is scary, isn’t it. However, Kolman soon changed the subject to the Chaos Theory, which states that something may appear chaotic and nonsensical, but actually be orderly. Kolman claimed that teaching should be modeled after the Chaos Theory, using the logic that a little chaos is the only way anybody can learn, and chaos and order are merely different perceptions of the same idea.Is teaching as we know it coming to an end, or has the whole thing been blown out of proportion? Only time will tell.