Posted by: crudbasher | January 26, 2010

A Teacher’s Role in the Future

Yesterday I had a bit of trouble finding a good topic to blog about.  Today my topic just jumped up and smacked me like I had just drank a Pan Galactic Gargleblaster.

H/T Scott Mcleod.

How Teachers & Classrooms Will Need to Change in Our Hyperconnected Age

This was an interview with Janna Anderson, an associate professor in Elon University’s School of Communications and the lead author of the “Future of the Internet” book series published by Cambria Press.

She gets it.  In a very clear and concise fashion she stated what I believe will happen with education in the future.  As I have mentioned in my last Stormfront post teachers and schools are no longer the gatekeepers of information.  The interviewer makes a good point here:

The Internet is inherently disruptive to business models; the decimation of the newspaper industry is a case in point. One of the aspects of digital education that people don’t talk about much is how disruptive it could be to the career of teaching. On the one hand, really great teachers will be able to reach a broader audience than ever before, but younger educators — teachers who have not yet hit their stride — could be left out. What happens when the educational community one day realizes that they’re facing the same forces of creative destruction that newspapers are facing today?

Professor Anderson answered like this:

Regarding forces of advancing technology and their influence on things such as the news industry, the story of the entrenched institutions fighting change is an old one. We have to overcome the tyranny of the status quo. Many media leaders understood in the 1990s that they had to prepare for a new day, but they had this great profit machine. They wouldn’t let go of it until the economics of the situation forced them to change. Economics is generally the force that pushes leaders of stagnating institutions to adopt new paradigms. It will be interesting to see how all of this develops over the next few years.

What happens is what the newspapers are currently doing.  Dying out.  Many traditional schools are going to die out or be consumed by other, bigger entities.  I can imaging someone like Amazon or Google essentially partnering with Harvard.  Amazon provides the lessons, technology and support, and Harvard provides the brand name.  In the end, some schools will loose value until all they have left will be their brand.

Another great line from Professor Anderson:

Faculty, teachers, and principals could inform students that they expect them to learn outside of the classroom and beyond homework assignments. The Internet plays a key role in that.

All in all a fantastic article.  As Instapundit says, read the whole thing.


  1. “Yesterday I had a bit of trouble finding a good topic to blog about. Today my topic just jumped up and smacked me like I had just drank a Pan Galactic Gargleblaster.”

    I love it when I have a moment of inspiration like this and just know what i am going to do, And if that involves a trip to the restaurant at the end of the universe then all the better.

    Back to the topic though: As I am a second year education student I share your concern for the future of education. However, I don’t think that traditional schools and teachers will become obsolete as e-learning does not cater to everyone’s learning styles. For example kinaesthetic learners would have a harder time using/adapting to an online schooling environment. It will be interesting to see how things pan out.

  2. Glad to see another Douglas Adams fan! Yeah I agree there is still a place for kinaesthetic learning. For example, if you want to learn about cooking taking a class with a chef is much preferable than learning it by watching Food Network. (mmm Food Network)

    The question is how many classes don’t translate well to online learning? Enough to justify million dollar buildings at universities? I’m not sure there is a good answer yet.

  3. Excellent insight to the paradigm shift headed toward education. There is a lot that needs to change in education as the world changes around it. I think much of what we will see is a customization of learning to fit the needs of specific communities and learners. A one size fits all approach to education will no longer work.

  4. […] A Teacher’s Role in the Future […]

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