"However, the type of learning that is going on as a result looks so different from the kinds of learning described by most educational theorists that it is essentially invisible."
I think this quote addresses one of the major themes for this chapter and the purpose for the EDUC 530 course. Throughout this book and course we have been introduced to different technologies and tools that we can use to leverage the massive shift in information availability that has occurred in our society. The traditional view of the teacher being the only true font of knowledge has been broken in the information age. Any individual who is motivated can find and learn any topic they wish online. The only thing they would lack is a ready guide to direct their energy and enthusiasm for a topic.
In the new culture of learning that has been created in our modern information age we need to reassess the role of the classroom teacher. Teachers need to recognize that students can gain knowledge from multiple sources and have tools available that makes previous methods and knowledge obsolete. Getting students interested in our individual subjects and showing them how to play and learn with the tools and skills provided would serve our students better than attempting to shoehorn them into learning under an educational ideology from a previous century.
Educators need to help students learn how to leverage and use these new tools to effectively become personal learners. Students need to understand that they have the tools and ability to find solutions to their own questions and shouldn't be constantly reliant on the gift of knowledge and answers from others.
Concerning the model of education used throughout the early 20th century.
"This model, however, just can’t keep up with the rapid rate of change in the twenty-first century. It’s time to shift our thinking from the old model of teaching to a new model of learning."
Considering the new tools and methods used by individuals and institutions to disseminate information and share ideas we have to revise our ideas about education. This chapter asks the reader to re-contextualize the role and structure of formal education. Given that students have a wealth of knowledge at their disposal we should no longer consider the teacher to be the only source of information in the classroom.
A better view would hold that the teacher is the best guide in the classroom. The teacher has a better understand of the material being covered and has insights into possible problems and questions that can come up concerning the material. The teacher can help to direct students away from false information and help to structure the discussion so that students make progress in understanding and accessing the information. The teacher is a conductor directing the learning.
A key point that the authors make is that in the new culture of learning questions are more highly valued and appreciated. Questions can show that a student is interested in the material and is trying to draw connections and correlations to previous knowledge. Questions can lead to deeper appreciation of material and methods. Questions show that a student is trying to understand the material at a deeper level and cares about it.
"Many educators, for example, consider the principle underlying the adage, “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime,” to represent the height of educational practice today. Yet it is hardly cutting edge. It assumes that there will always be an endless supply of fish to catch and that the techniques for catching them will last a lifetime"
This chapter calls for educators to re-evaluate the nature of knowledge as we traditionally view it. The authors illustrate their idea by highlighting how Wikipedia is fundamentally a more sound system of collecting knowledge than traditional encyclopedias. They don't argue that Wikipedia is more correct or rigorous than traditional paper encyclopedias, they argue that it is more transparent and thus more adaptive. The reader can source information and track changes to articles. Reading the history of an article can show multiple views and ideas about a topic that were never apparent when reading an entry in a paper document.
This view can be expanded to look more facets of knowledge and content distribution. Students can freely explore and extend their understanding about a subject if they desire to. They can research any topic or material that is covered in the standard K-12 curriculum. That they don't freely choose to explore this wealth of knowledge available to them points out that teacher are failing to instill in students an understanding of the value and power of their subject matter.
This vast store of information and opportunity that is available to students is being ignored because it is being packaged in way that is ill suited to education in our current age and fails to compete with topics that students are placing value and time into.