World’s Greatest Tutor

In the March 12, 2012 edition of Forbes magazine, there is an interesting article about adaptive learning software called Knewton (The World’s Greatest Tutor). Reading the article reminded me that many see learning with technology as taking what normally goes on in brick-and-mortar and putting it online (all too often done in isolation) and stopping there – essentially, information transfer. This limited view of using technology for learning isn’t so much the case as is pointed out in the article:

“A computer can’t teach that which is up for interpretation, such as the causes of the War of 1812. Nor will it ever replace teachers. What Knewton offers is a way to automate the drudgery of delivering basic skills, the lack of which is epidemic at colleges.”

How do we use technology to our advantage to deliver the content, but go further with creating knowledge and making connections — those things open to individual interpretation and personalization? Many in education aren’t yet experiencing that shift in thinking about education as anything more than an information dump – from a teacher or computer system to a student. We never get to the real learning.


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