I recently watched this video and I absolutely loved it! Robinson mentions that “we are educating children out of their creative capacities.” Right now in schools there is very little emphasis on the arts, but why? Students are learning the information that was necessary when this country first became industrialized, but that information doesn’t hold the vitality that creativity does in learning. Another video by Ken Robinson called Changing Education Paradigms showed that studies have shown that divergent thinking significantly decreases in children as they progress through school. So instead of encouraging our children to think outside of the box and use creativity we are teaching them there is only one way to think and they all must think the same. Why do we want all of our students to think the same? Did Einstein get as far as he did because he sat in his desk and thought how he was told to think? I’m guessing probably not. Students are afraid of speaking their mind and afraid of being wrong and I see this in college courses as well.

It was recently mentioned in class by my professor that students are afraid of discussion and as far as I can see that is 100% true. Students are coming from high schools where for the most part they sat in a desk and got spoon fed information. When they walk into a college course with a professor that expects them to speak up they are appalled. Why? Because they have never had a discussion. They want to come in, listen to a professor, and take notes because that is what they are a product of.

How then, do we put creativity back into the classroom? Open and networked learning. Creativity grows with interaction and collaboration among peers. Children should NOT be sitting in desks anymore. It is no longer relevant. They need to be encouraged to open up their minds and let their creativity and divergent thinking expand. Allow them to interact and try to solve problems in multiple ways, not just one. Creativity and networked learning is what is going to save education.

Are there any negative consequences of networked learning? Maybe.. something that I hadn’t thought of before was brought up in class last week and that is a machine can not love a child. We don’t want our children staring at a computer screen 8 hours a day just as much as we don’t want them staring at the board 8 hours a day. Computers need to be incorporated in education but technology should not replace the teacher. Children need love and care in order to develop and grow to be loving human beings. Just like children need love and care they also need creativity to become unique and make a valid contribution to society. Teachers might take a bit of a back seat with technology incorporated in the curriculum, but they should and most likely will always remain.

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