This is the Technology Idea That Will Revolutionize Education

Thumbnail image for Ariel08.jpgGuest post by Swaroop Raju, co-founder of eduCanon

First of all, apologies for the click-bait title. My headline, with all of its promise for a simple solution to all of our educational woes, is kind of the point of this post. 

In this YouTube clip, Derek from Veritasium, a science video blog, points out that:

With every new technological advent we boldly proclaim that the latest and greatest will transform our educational system. When the motion picture was first invented we theorized that textbooks and written learning material would be no more. Similarly, with the advent of radio, television, and most recently MOOCs we have been persuaded that teachers will be supplanted with automized instruction. As you well know, none of those predictions have come true, nor will they anytime in the forseeable future. 

As much as it pains me to say this as a founder of an ed-tech company: 

Technology will never revolutionize education. 

The premise that traditional teachers will no longer be relevant is based upon the false notion that the primary role of a teacher is the transmission of information. In reality, effective educating and learning is much more—it is based on the social interaction between teachers and students. When thinking of it that way, technology does indeed have a powerful role in its ability to evolve education. It has the potential to evolve education by freeing up time traditionally devoted to the transmission of information so that it can now be used for one-on-one time with students. 

And I do think that online videos are the perfect medium to incite this evolution. After all, as CGP Grey points out, for a new technology to make a dramatic difference in the broader field of education it must meet these three criteria:

  1. Be inexpensive
  2. Hold the potential for personalization and differentiation
  3. Have high quality instruction  

The wealth of high-quality content available across the YouTube EDU channels coupled with excellent teacher-created screencasts means that the best quality instruction is available at a moment’s notice for free. With 1-to-1 online videos, students can pause and rewind the lesson to review material missed on first listen. And if questions are embedded into the YouTube video with a program like eduCanon, data on student understanding is immediately fed to the teacher, preserving class time for real learning. 

While I do not think that online videos are revolutionizing our educational system, I certainly do believe they are evolving our educational system towards a brighter future where more class time is devoted to real student learning. 

Until next time!


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For more information, follow eduCanon on Twitter @educanon123

3 thoughts on “This is the Technology Idea That Will Revolutionize Education

  1. Although I agree with the premise of the argument (i.e. technology alone will not revolutionize education), I do think the true revolution comes when teachers go from curating videos to creating them, based on their students’ needs. 21st century teachers can’t afford to sit back and shop for e-learning products. They should learn how to create their own lessons, especially specific to their students’ needs.
    http://blendedteachingdc.com/2014/12/21/education-technology-whats-good-for-the-goose-is-good-for-the-gander/

  2. You are still missing the point. "by freeing up time traditionally devoted to the transmission of information so that it can now be used for one-on-one time with students." There is no need for forced " transmission of information" – EVER. Technology provides us access to databases that have any information we need. If we seriously want students to learn, then have the students (not the teachers) make the videos and other forms of showing what they know. student learning is always based on what THEY do, not what the teacher does.

    1. I’m all for students creating videos and other products. I was referring to creating digital lessons, especially for introducing new material. Surely, you wouldn’t have students create a video on a skill they’ve yet to see? Keep in mind, I never suggested teachers create a digital lesson to disseminate via whole class instruction or along a rigid scope and sequence. I think you’ve misread my argument more than I "missed the point."

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