Tuesday, April 2, 2013

To the Cloud

All students today are immersed in the technological age. There is no opt out. They learn by doing, as opposed to the industrial model, which asked students to memorize and command knowledge so that they would be able to do. Technology has brought us full circle--Creating meaning out of material and learning by doing is the way in which we are intrinsically motivated. In this sense, the cloud has returned us to our natural state of inquiry and development. Heidi Hayes Jacobs' discusses in her book Curriculum 21, the metaphor of knowledge, which used to be a tree, anchored deep into the earth with long roots, representing strength and stability, has now been replaced with a cloud, nebulous and ever changing. As a result, "old systems of creating order out of chaos no longer apply." The sage on the stage, bestowing the truth to his/her students is consistent with the tree metaphor. The cloud metaphor recognizes that there is no one truth. Instead, "the power of the digital disorder that arises out of all the knowledge being everywhere at once makes the human capacity for pattern recognition, for critical thinking, for nuanced perceptions, and for dealing with ambiguity far more important than the search for certain outcomes." This lends itself to support a student-centered classroom. Curriculum decisions focus on skills that facilitate higher order thinking. "It is the nature and relevance of reading, writing and sums that change as we enter the postliterate era. Significantly, it is the way in which we make meaning out of information to create new knowledge that is changing."

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