In Education Nothing Ever Stands Alone
As I read the post Oregon Trail to CoolStreet I was reminded that apps, and most anything in education, really never stands alone; there’s always something else. Here are a few more connecting thoughts:
- I was fortunate enough to visit a primary school recently, where the teacher had the students working on a project where they each ran a theme park. Concepts such as “revenue” and “fixed costs” and “marketing” were being introduced in what was essentially a maths lesson. These kids are still at primary school!
- I also recently sat in an ISTE Keynote speech by Steven Johnson, where gaming was discussed. Johnson gave the example of playing the game Dawn of Time with and against his kids, and the way in which several disciplines needed to be understood simultaneously in order to be successful in that game.
- And in the EFF7 Debate, Andreas Schleicher (OECD’s Deputy Director for Education and Skills and Special Advisor on Education Policy) in his Better Skills, Better Jobs and Better Lives section of the debate said, “There is this mismatch between what our education systems produce and what actually our economies need to actually drive and move forward.”
The common thread here for me is that all of these ideas, together, and more, help students become better learners and more relevant to employers, or indeed to become entrepreneurs, as described by Schleicher. Clearly, they are not all going to open pizza shops, theme parks, or run countries, but they might. These initiatives help students understand the real world, where businesses usually need an economically viable output, rather than just academic and theoretical aims. We need that type of student, and as an employer I need that type of employee. Teachers broaden student thinking and skills, and we need to hear more from those educators doing it.
About the author: Iain Home is a UK father, student of education trends, and an international marketing strategist for Promethean.