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Live Chat today at 4pm Eastern: "Why School? How Education Must Change When Information and Learning Are Everywhere"

Author Will Richardson will be joining us for a live Q&A today at 4pm Eastern!

Continuing with our series of TED book chats, for the next week and a half we'll be discussing Will Richardson's new TED eBook, "Why School?"

Traditional educators, classrooms, and brick-and-mortar schools are no longer necessary to access information. Instead, things like blogs and wikis, as well as remote collaborations and an emphasis on 'critical thinking' skills are the coins of the realm in this new kingdom. Yet the national dialogue on education reform focuses on using technology to update the traditional education model, failing to reassess the fundamental model on which it is built.

In TED's new eBook, "Why School?", educator, author, parent and blogger Will Richardson challenges traditional thinking about education—questioning whether it still holds value in its current form.

The book is available for Kindle, Nook, and iOS devices (which have a great new custom TED Books app):

Kindle copy: http://www.amazon.com/Why-School-Information-Everywhere-ebook/dp/B00998J5YQ
iOS app: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ted-books/id511071050?mt=8

You can also read more on Will's blog: http://willrichardson.com

So, let's get things started... when information is everywhere, what is the purpose of traditional schools?

Topics: education

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  • Oct 8 2012: We recently had a discussion about this in our faculty meeting. Most of the teachers were very vocal about how changes need to be made. The problem is getting started. Also, the handful that didn't participate in the discussion are the ones who don't want it to change because they are afraid or really don't want to learn how to teach in a new way (especially when they are close to retirement).
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      Oct 8 2012: I'd be interested to hear what changes they were advocating...more student ownership over learning in the context of connected technologies?
    • Oct 8 2012: Linda, yes, I can understand your frustration. The approach in our board has been to invite teachers to work togther - maybe in learning partnerships with another teacher, where thy can support and challenge each other. Doing nothing is not an option. The teaching profession demands that teachers continue developing professionally - at least that is the consensus we are coming to in our jurisdiction - Ontario. Hope that helps
    • Oct 8 2012: Linda, there will always be those close to retirement who are afraid to change, even resistant to change. There are also younger teachers who were very successful in school "the way it was" and are afraid to change. I think we tend to let the naysayers dominate the conversation with their silence. Let them join when they are comfortable but do what you can to support those ready to try now. Nothing wrong with pilot projects until the others catch the vision.
    • Oct 8 2012: The key is to invite them to tweak their lessons, small changes, which can have positive effects. It is difficult to ask teachers to make huge changes all at once. Moving toward the vision of Why School can happen gradually, based on the vignettes Will included in the book

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