I think that Morgan and Dan hit the nail on the head with education needing to step up their game. I already have a degree from Auburn University in Political Science, which is a liberal arts type education. Most of my learning involved lectures, listening to professors yack, reading, writing essay, yada yada. It had nothing to do with technology or collaborating with other students. I also could've learned all of that from the internet and library because all I was learning was facts. It's sad to say but I think that most liberal arts educations, in my opinion, are worthless. I can say this because I have one and have experienced it. All I was taught in my degree is a bunch of facts...as well as research papers, critical thinking, and Bloom's level type stuff. (It wasn't totally pointless! I love Auburn!)
Let's jump to present day at the University of South Alabama. I'm back in school now getting another bachelors in secondary education/math. So far, I haven't had a lecture hall...but I do have professors lecturing. It's mostly the math teachers. However, I think that learning a "skill" or a type of knowledge, in this case math, then I will have to be lectured to a little more. Incorporating collaborative technology education into a math classroom won't happen for another 50 years...if ever, in my opinion. Most math teachers have no personality and are boring. They stand at the chalkboard and "teach" us how to do the concept, or recite formulas, like in my trig class this semester. (Sorry Dr. Aziz but there is a better way to teach.)
My education at USA has been different than at Auburn but I think it has to do with the total switch in majors. I agree with Morgan and Dan that fact based education is not what we need. We are failing our students if that's all we teach them. High schools and colleges are eventually going to be so behind in the times that people are going to catch on and realize they DON'T need higher education. Credentials and certificates and diplomas will be a thing of the past...and I wouldn't be surprised if that happens in my lifetime. I think a lot of people will realize the education is not needed unless you decide to go on to professional school a.k.a doctor, lawyer, or need a certificate and skills taught to you a.k.a teacher, social worker, nurse, engineer. I enjoy my education here at South and I'm glad it's not using a textbook to memorize facts. I'm learning how to work a math problem...or using the technology around me survive in Dr. Strange's class. It's fun!
Tom's post is about how he was confronted by the Academic Specialist at his school and is scolded to not let his students take the pencils home. She says that a study found that students have lower test scores if they do that. Tom doesn't buy the research and persuades her that he created a parent pencil program which teaches the parents the same things the students are learning. The Academic Specialist says that it can be used for entertainment and there's no way to hold them accountable if they "goof" off with the pencils and play hang-man, etc. Tom explains that it doesn't matter...because there probably is some form of learning in that too.
I don't know what to make of this post other than to say that they had a problem and Tom found a creative way to solve it. I know now that the pencils are used as a metaphor and it makes a lot more sense.