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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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    Aja B. 20+

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    Oct 8 2012: And, when it comes to basing tests on "googleable" facts like your Gupta Empire example... students have been complaining (rightly so, IMO) about this for at least the decades since I was in school. :) What do you think is the main reason schools continue to stick to this style of education? Is it just that it's so much more cost-effective than measuring actual knowledge and skill?
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      Oct 8 2012: It's because that content mastery stuff is easy to measure, plain and simple. How can you easily measure perseverance, creativity, ability to find and solve problems, etc? While those things are more important than wide content mastery now, they are much harder to measure.
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        Oct 8 2012: Those things are best measured through relationships between teachers and students. Unfortunately, we are not in an age of trusting such information.
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          Oct 8 2012: Yeah, you would think we'd trust teachers to tell us what's happening in terms of learning and our kids. Funny thing is, the best predictor of future success is not SAT or test scores; it's GPA. Shocking! ;0)
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        Aja B. 20+

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        Oct 8 2012: Do you think the era of sending kids to a classroom to all learn the same information simultaneously is coming to an end? I'm trying to picture what wide-scale free-form learning might look like, and all I can come up with is something like homeschooling... or "unschooling"!
        • Oct 8 2012: It must come to and end!
          We're all different! How come they think we should learn pretty much the same stuff and be expected to reach a specific score on a standardised test?
          I'm on my penultimate year of high school here in Brazil and I'm quite fed up with it by now. I study at a private school, as most public schools here suck.
      • Oct 8 2012: So I wonder what's the answer? We're going to run up against a strongly held assumption around measurement that makes up the modern (Western at least) world view. Do we continue to communicate with our communities about increasing local involvement in schools? Do we get into epistemology and discuss the limitations of reductionism, etc.? or do we just try to demonstrate the promise of local teacher judgements and build trust that way?

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