Friday, June 26, 2009

Education: Storytelling with Technology

"But they won't learn the same way with this newfangled stuff like pencils or books. The traditional ways of telling stories around the campfire have shown to be successful...why meddle with it? My father, your father, my mother, your mother, and I...we have all learned successfully this way...why change? "

This statement could have been written thousands of years ago by someone resisting the idea of writing down material in in order to teach. In the history of humanity, verbal storytelling was/is our mainstay in terms of passing on what is important to our progeny (now called education).

I have a master's degree in the management of technology. The cornerstone in my learning is that a pencil can be regarded as 'technology'. Laugh as you might but it is a pivotal hinge point regarding what technology is.

Replace 'pencil' or 'book' with 'internet' or 'twitter' in the above statement.

Can you see the implications?

Humanity is now gathered around a large fire...we can now twitter amongst ourselves and share knowledge across many boundaries (but not all, not yet). This is not unlike our ancestors huddled around a communal fire in a cave long ago and sharing stories about planting or hunting or fishing or exploring...stories that lead to others trying out what they'd heard. Learning from others. The essence of humanity.

What story to do you have to share? What learnings have you gleaned?


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