Robinson argues that we don’t need an evolution in education; we need a revolution. Evolution implies that we are just improving or changing a system that is already in place, but a revolution would mean that we truly just start over from scratch (Ted, 2010). I agree that what he says makes sense; however, I don’t think it’s realistic. Education is too large an institution to just uproot it from its hundreds of years of foundation. EVEN if people were open to a revolution, we don’t have the budget for it. Not to get too political or anything, but if public education funding keeps getting pulled from our schools, how can we expect to revolutionize our schools? A true and effective revolution, I think, really means advancing the technology that we use to enhance learning. Funding is the key most important aspect of being able to enhance our technology, and I would guess the vast majority of schools just don’t have it. So, do I agree with Ken Robinson? Yes. Do I think it’s possible, right now, with our political and economic climate? Unfortunately, no.
Knowing that we have a need for this revolution shows that our learning environments have gone stale. Schools are needed for an entirely different reason during this digital age. We no longer need to teach facts and figures to our students, since they have any piece of information at their fingertips. Instead, we need to build them into productive citizens with an intrinsic interest in themselves and their learning, and particularly their futures. How can we do this? By teaching them skills, teaching them the value of strong morals, teaching them motivation, and teaching them what it means to be successful, and how that can look very different to many people.
At this point, we need to start small. We need people like us, who are pioneers for digital reform, to start proposing change in our departments, in our schools, and in our districts. When other teachers see the value in what we have changed in small quantities, they will hop on board. Eventually, departmental changes will begin taking place. When the larger changes begin, entire buildings will start initiatives that will impact the revolution. Because districts are always in competition, when one district finds success with something, another will follow. Essentially, we need leaders to implement change. Good, strong, willing-to-fail leaders who aren’t afraid of a challenge.
The most important part of Robinson’s plan is to individualize education for our students. Technology today already individualizes our learning and computing experiences. Google remembers our search history and can express to us what we didn’t even know we were thinking. Amazon suggests products to us after we have purchased something from them. Facebook pulls your profile and search history and personalizes advertisements directly to our needs. We need to do the same things for our students someday.
TED. (2010, May 24). Sir Ken Robinson: Bring on the learning revolution! [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9LelXa3U_I