If kids were robots, we’d plan our lessons, pass out booklets and pencils, grade, and repeat. Collect. Repeat. Collect. Repeat. Can you picture those neat little rows of robots writing answers, reading text books, and repeating? We would know they were learning because of answers they bubbled-in on the yearly assessments. Some might even get awards for being a “Super-Bubbler!” The government could even track the information that was being stored. It would run similar to a car assembly line, like a “fact-production line.” It would be an efficient, one-size-fits-all education of kids advancing through numbered sections of a school.
Until one day…. Global warming. Acid rain. Pollution. Oil spills. Needs for new technologies. Overpopulation. Species Extinction. Incurable diseases. Space exploration. The list goes on. The robots and their ‘fact banks?’ Well, they might look for a list and wonder, what are the answer choices? Where are the number 2 pencils? What bubble should I fill in? While they are looking for the one right answer, they could be creating, innovating, collaborating, and problem solving. We live in a world that thrives on Bloom’s Taxonomy’s highest levels, but the robots have been working on the fact-production line where the information was there to be memorized. What have we really prepared them for?
Education is not easy. But, it’s biggest challenges come with the greatest rewards. If we are going to reach all of our kids, we have to get creative with our teaching, innovative in the technologies we use, collaborate with others, and be the problem solvers who pave the way. We have to show our kids the value of thinking, challenge, and creativity in our classrooms. After all, this is clearly about more than robots.