Mar 9, 2010

In the Google age, what is the point of teaching memorization?

"In the Google age, what is the point of teaching memorization?" Jeff Jarvis' sentence makes me thing about why we, as teachers, focus our efforts on memorization instead of fostering our students on learning how to get and learn new information by themselves, although we, at UNED (Open University of Spain), are in that line. There is also a very good German movie that talks about it. Have a look at the preview.

Actually, my thoughts about it are that students must have some theoretical basics to be able to use their creativity and imagination to create new solutions, and solve new problems by learning by themselves, and collaborating with others to create new knowledge, not just using the one that we think they must know and use. According with Jeff Jarvis, "we must stop looking at education as a product – in which we turn out every student giving the same answer – to a process, in which every student looks for new answers. Life is a beta." 

Thus, probably one of the first pillars to throw down are the exams. Have a look to this blog where some Master students in Stockholm protest about they shouldn't be evaluated through a test exam, but by showing their portfolio, the things they have done, and not just from the things they are able to temporarily learn and forget within the 4 hours after the exam. 

Many of us share the same feelings, probably that's why we work in learning-enhanced technologies, trying to add our sand-grain to the improvement/evolution of education.

I'd like to finish this post with a quote from Albert Einstein: "Imagination is more important than knowledge."

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