Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology: The Digital Revolution and the Schools
Collins, A. & Halverson, R. (2009). Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology: The Digital Revolution and the Schools. New York: Teachers College Press.
In their summary of the arguments presented in their forthcoming book, Collins & Halverson discuss what the education system may look like after the “digital revolution.” They contrast the current education system with the apprenticeship system that was in place before the industrial revolution. A vision of a new education system is presented and its strengths and shortcomings are assessed from the standpoint of both current and past systems.
While this article provides an excellent summary of how many flaws in our current education system can be improved with the use of technology, it raises several new issues with an individualized education system that remain unaddressed. Collins & Halverson emphasize interaction with learning material and preparedness for future knowledge work as strengths of a customized learning environment. Unfortunately, it grossly underestimates the influence of social interaction among other people on future success. Interaction with subject matter is important for retention, but interaction with people will allow a student to make important lifelong connections. A social education experience also prepares students better for knowledge work as most work is done in a collaborative team environment and not individually.
This article has great potential to be used as a launching point for a creative project or paper that presents a persuasive argument. In a creative project, students would be encouraged to express their vision of a reformed education system after the digital revolution and, like the authors in the article, examine the strengths and pitfalls of their proposed new system. A persuasive argument could be synthesized and defended from multiple positions taken in the article and would be excellent practice for students to scientifically organize and defend their review of an article.