This thinking was reinforced the other day when I read the following article from the Chronicle of Higher Education by Darryl Tippens (Provost at Pepperdine University) titled Technology Has Its Place: Behind a Caring Teacher. In this article, Mr. Tippens argues that while technology can do many things, it can not replace the environment of a residential college experience where students learn together. He states, "People are social creatures who best mature intellectually in a particular social environment. At the center of an effective educational system is a vibrant community in which learners not only think together but also engage in learning practices together."
As I began to share this article via Diigo to our administrative team, I began to think what the implications of this are for K-12 school corporations. We do not have the residential environment that colleges have to create these unique learning environments for primary and secondary schools in a natural way. Yet, research has continually shown us that relationships are one of the most important parts of creating a great learning environment. Which leads me to my question: In what ways can we utilize technology to create more opportunities for teachers and students to develop learning communities that will engage students in the process?
Google has the ability to render teaching obsolete, if all we concern ourselves with is the regurgitation of facts. Traditional high stakes testing has lead to a more fact based approach. The promise of the Common Core tests are that they will focus more on higher level skills and go beyond mere fact based testing. These changes should lead us to creating more interactive relational learning environments. The question is, can we turn the ship fast enough to keep pace with the changes occurring around us?