From Education to Learning


“We need to move from a system of education to a system of learning,” said Ed Barlow, President, Creating the Future, Inc. He thinks the internet may serve as the center of an entirely information-based world that is still in its developmental stages.

Barlow told educators, business and community leaders gathered at Montana’s Flathead High School:

There’s no more “them” and “us” when it comes to education and business communities — or even local and global communities.

We’re all in it together.

And everyone had better figure out speed learning or run the risk of information gained yesterday becoming obsolete this afternoon — never mind tomorrow. Outdated information means irrelevant education today and plunging income in the future.

I wish my grandchildren’s teachers would accept and adapt Barlow’s and other futurists points into their instructional procedures. These students “know” that if Barlow’s line of reasoning is true, then their teachers would act on it. And they would award grades based on this line of reasoning and skills.

Since their teachers don’t discuss what Barlow, Tablet PC proponents, and other futurists say, these children individually argue that the Internet and other electronic tools are for play, not for serious school learning.

So, these students just mark time in schools with curricula expectations they surpassed, sometimes years ago, while usually complying passively with school and teacher rules. And all were math and science whizzes until they met teachers who give priority to assigning group projects and to students expressing personal opinions. Little by little they loose their math and science edge without their school or themselves knowing it’s happening.

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Robert Heiny
Robert W. Heiny, Ph.D. is a retired professor, social scientist, and business partner with previous academic appointments as a public school classroom teacher, senior faculty, or senior research member, and administrator. Appointments included at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Peabody College and the Kennedy Center now of Vanderbilt University; and Brandeis University. Dr. Heiny also served as Director of the Montana Center on Disabilities. His peer reviewed contributions to education include publication in [I]The Encyclopedia of Education [/I](1971), and in professional journals and conferences. He served s an expert reviewer of proposals to USOE, and on a team that wrote plans for 12 state-wide and multistate special education and preschools programs. He currently writes user guides for educators and learners as well as columns for [I]TuxReports[/I].com.