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Rethinking education in the age of technology: the digital revolution and the schools

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Abstract

The world of education is currently undergoing a massive transformation as a result of the digital revolution. This transformation is similar to the transition from apprenticeship to universal schooling that occurred in the 19 th century as a result of the industrial revolution. In the apprenticeship era, most of what people learned occurred outside of school. Universal schooling led people to identify learning with school, but now the identification of the two is unraveling. All around us people are learning with the aid of new technologies: children are playing complex video games, workers are interacting with simulations that put them in challenging situations, students are taking courses at online high schools and colleges, and adults are consulting Wikipedia. New technologies create learning opportunities that challenge traditional schools and colleges. These new learning niches enable people of all ages to pursue learning on their own terms. People around the world are taking their education out of school into homes, libraries, Internet cafes, and workplaces, where they can decide what they want to learn, when they want to learn, and how they want to learn. Who will benefit ultimately from this revolution? In America there is a commercial push to sell educational products to consumers who are looking for an edge up in the race for success. This means that technological products and services are popping up all over the American landscape. Education, once viewed as a public good with equal access for all, is now up for sale to those who can afford specialized services and computer programs.
RETHINKING EDUCATION IN THE AGE OF TECHNOLOGY:
THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION AND THE SCHOOLS1
By
Allan Collins and Richard Halverson
The world of education is currently undergoing a massive transformation as a result of
the digital revolution. This transformation is similar to the transition from apprenticeship to
universal schooling that occurred in the 19th century as a result of the industrial revolution. In the
apprenticeship era, most of what people learned occurred outside of school. Universal schooling
led people to identify learning with school, but now the identification of the two is unraveling.
All around us people are learning with the aid of new technologies: children are playing
complex video games, workers are interacting with simulations that put them in challenging
situations, students are taking courses at online high schools and colleges, and adults are
consulting Wikipedia. New technologies create learning opportunities that challenge traditional
schools and colleges. These new learning niches enable people of all ages to pursue learning on
their own terms. People around the world are taking their education out of school into homes,
libraries, Internet cafes, and workplaces, where they can decide what they want to learn, when
they want to learn, and how they want to learn.
Who will benefit ultimately from this revolution? In America there is a commercial push
to sell educational products to consumers who are looking for an edge up in the race for success.
This means that technological products and services are popping up all over the American
landscape. Education, once viewed as a public good with equal access for all, is now up for sale
to those who can afford specialized services and computer programs.
We think schools have served America and the world very well. We greatly admire the
teachers who have dedicated themselves to helping children from different backgrounds to learn
and thrive in a changing world. Schools have made invaluable contributions to the world’s
development and we think they will continue to do so well into the future.
However, we think it is time that educators and policy makers start to rethink education
apart from schooling. Education is a lifelong enterprise, while schooling for most encompasses
only ages five to 18 or 21. Even when students are in school, much of their education happens
1 This article summarizes arguments in the forthcoming publication: Collins, A. &
Halverson, R. (2009). Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology: The Digital
Revolution and the Schools. New York: Teachers College Press.
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outside of school. We all know that technology has transformed our larger society. It has become
central to people’s reading, writing, calculating, and thinking, which are the major concerns of
schooling. And yet technology has been kept in the periphery of schools, used for the most part
only in specialized courses.
The central challenge is whether our current schools will be able to adapt and incorporate
the new power of technology-driven learning for the next generation of public schooling. If
schools cannot successfully integrate new technologies into what it means to be a school, then
the long identification of schooling with education, developed over the past 150 years, will
dissolve into a world where wealthier students pursue their learning outside of the public school.
Incompatibilities between Schooling and Technology
There are deep incompatibilities between schooling and the new technologies:
Uniform learning vs. Customization. Deeply ingrained in the structure of schooling is a
mass-production notion of uniform learning. This belief stipulates that everyone should learn
the same things at the same time. But one of the great advantages of technology is
customization. Computers can respond to the particular interests and difficulties that learners
have and provide content on any topic of interest.
Teacher as expert vs. Diverse knowledge sources. Schooling is built on the notion that the
teacher is an expert, whose job is to pass on their expertise to students. Teachers do not like
to see their authority challenged by students who find contradictory information or who ask
questions beyond the teacher’s expertise. In contrast, video and computers provide many
different sources of expertise. Often teachers feel threatened by these views because they
undermine their authority.
Standardized assessment vs. Specialization. The assessment technology employed in
evaluating students uses multiple-choice and short answer items, in order to provide
objective scoring. But this form of testing requires that every student learn the same things.
To the degree technology encourages students to go in their own direction, it is in direct
conflict with the standardized assessments pervading schools.
Knowledge in the head vs. Reliance on outside resources. There is a deep belief among
teachers and parents that to truly learn something, it is critical to internalize it without any
reliance on outside resources. Therefore, on tests students are usually not allowed to use
books or calculators, much less computers or the web. The opposite is true of adult life,
where technology supports people’s use of outside resources. In the workplace you are often
judged on how well you can mobilize resources to accomplish some task.
Coverage vs. The knowledge explosion. School pursues the goal of covering all the
important knowledge people might need in the rest of their life. As knowledge has grown
exponentially, textbooks have grown fatter and fatter. It has become difficult to cover all the
important material, and so curricula have become ‘a mile wide and an inch deep.’ Given the
explosion of knowledge, people cannot learn in school all they will need to know in later life.
So they need to learn how to learn and how to find the information and resources they need.
Learning by acquisition vs. Learning by doing. Deeply embedded in the culture of
schooling is the notion that students should learn a large body of facts, concepts, procedures,
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theories, and works of art and science that have accumulated over time. In contrast,
technology fosters a more hands-on, activity-based education. Computers are highly
interactive and provide a variety of tools to accomplish meaningful tasks. Hence, they are
more aligned with the “learning by doing” view of education, than with the “acquisition of
cultural knowledge” view of education that permeates schooling.
By way of summary, school fosters just-in-case learning while technology fosters just-in-
time learning. There are many reasons why schools are uncomfortable with new technology. But
technology is becoming central to all of life. We think this means that school will become less
important as a venue for education. We already see the seeds of a new system emerging in the
burgeoning movements toward home schooling, workplace learning, distance education, learning
centers, adult education, and lifelong learning generally.
The Seeds of a New System of Education
Schools will not disappear anytime soon. Schools were prevalent in the era of
apprenticeship, and they will be prevalent in whatever system of education that comes into being.
But as the seeds of a new system begin to emerge, education will occur in many different, more
adaptive, venues and schools will have a narrower role in learning.
Home schooling has been booming in America over the last 30 years. Based on a survey
in 2003 the US Department of Education estimated there were 1.1 million children being home
schooled, and that the number had increased by 29% in four years. The survey also found that
21% of the families engaged in home schooling hired a tutor and 41% used distance learning. As
more curriculum materials are developed for computers, they can take over more of the content
burden leaving parents to act as facilitators. There are upsides and downsides to the spread of
home schooling. It may indeed lead children and parents to take more responsibility for their
education, but at the same time it means that children will not be learning common content and
values.
Workplace learning has been rapidly expanding over the last 30 years as companies have
realized they need to educate their workers to handle complex equipment and solve novel
problems. Motorola has been teaching statistical analysis and other complex skills, and even
basic reading and computing when needed. The consulting firm Accenture has been developing
courses and simulation programs where employees perform the kinds of tasks they will
encounter in the field. Xerox has developed an online system containing stories of difficult
problems to diagnose that tech reps have compiled. More and more of workplace education is
addressing complex skills and learning to learn. Workers may spend their whole lives learning in
order to survive in a changing workplace.
Distance education over the Internet is exploding at the collegiate level. The University
of Phoenix is the most successful online university in America. It has over 100,000 students
altogether, including over 30,000 online students. As busy people realize they need more
education, they increasingly opt to take distance education courses. Many states and districts are
also experimenting with virtual high school programs, where teachers at different schools in the
system offer online courses to students at other high schools in the state. Utah with 35,000 online
students and Florida with 21,000 online students are farthest along on this path. Some virtual
high schools are organized as charter schools that enroll students from across the state. Although
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distance education has a head start in adult education, the development of virtual K-12 schools
provide challenges for brick and mortar public schools.
Adult education is growing with more adults taking courses in the evening at adult
education centers, and older people returning to get graduate or undergraduate degrees. Many
people now go onto the Web to learn about particular topics they are interested in, such as how
to invest in stocks. Adults often go on vacations with an educational purpose, such as a retreat to
discuss books or a trip with an expert providing guidance. Adult education is one of the major
growth industries in America. While much of the learning that goes on is recreational, it still
provides valuable knowledge that sometimes may lead to a second career or the pursuit of a
long-term interest. Perhaps it will turn out that some of our most productive citizens are older
people, who use their free time to keep learning.
Learning centers run by Kaplan, Sylvan, and others have arisen, where people can go to
learn particular skills and knowledge they need. They most commonly serve to prepare students
for national tests, such as the SAT or ACT, and to tutor children who are having problems in
school. In the 1990s the U.S. Department of Education launched an initiative to support non-
profit community technology centers to serve communities, where access to computers and other
technologies is limited. There are now over 1000 centers in different locales, such as housing
projects, storefronts, community organizations, and libraries. Most of the participants are
minorities, who go to learn job skills, take classes at the centers, and use the Internet facilities. In
time learning centers might evolve as an alternative to school at the high school level and
beyond. Teenagers and adults might go to the centers to study particular subjects of use to them.
Educational television and videos for children have spread widely since the start of
Children’s Television Workshop in the late 1960s. The impact of television on learning has been
greatly expanded by two developments: 1) the growth of the public television network (PBS) and
2) the advent of cable television. At the same time there has been a proliferation of videos for
kids that emphasize learning, which many toddlers watch over and over. Videos and television
for young children provide an access to education that is an entirely new phenomenon. And so
much have been produced in the last thirty years, that most kids are getting a head start on their
school education.
Computer-based learning environments have proliferated with the advent of home
computers. The most famous of these are the Sim series, such as SimCity and the Sims. In the
best selling game Civilization, players have the opportunity to relive the development of global
social and economic history. Players must plan, choose to negotiate or fight, acquire and allocate
resources, and make decisions to advance their civilization. There are also many computer-
learning environments for younger children as well, such as interactive books and kid’s websites.
Online Multi-User Virtual Environments (MUVEs) have proliferated, where people from all over
the world can converse or explore places that others have created for them. The next generation
of MUVEs are graphic-enhanced Massively Multi-Player On-Line Games (MMOGs) that have
led to an explosion of participation in virtual worlds. Gaming may help kids learn a variety of
leadership skills, such as resource allocation, negotiating with friends and adversaries,
manipulating situations and environments, actively pursuing their goals, and recovering from
failures. As John Seely Brown has suggested, the gamers of today may become the leaders of
tomorrow.
Technical certifications are a new phenomenon. Until recently schools and colleges had a
monopoly on the certification business. The growing use of the GED as an alternative to the high
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school diploma has begun to cut into the high school monopoly on certification. In recent years a
host of companies, such as Microsoft and Cisco, as well as technical societies, have developed
exams that certify that a person has a particular level of skill in some occupational niche, such as
creating web pages or maintaining computer networks. Because the certifications are more
specific than diplomas, they are more meaningful to potential employers.
Internet cafes are springing up all over the world, where people can go and log on to the
web for a small fee. These are perhaps the libraries of the future. They particularly attract young
people who spend hours on the web, engaging in conversations and games, reading about what is
happening in the world, learning how to program, or exploring different sites that relate to their
interests. In much of the world, schools have been resource-poor. The opening of the Internet to
the world gives people who have been deprived of an education a way to compensate, if they
have the initiative.
The cumulative effect of these innovations is to extend learning throughout life and over
many venues. With time, these pieces might come to comprise the fragments of a new system of
education in which schools have a less central role, as in the apprenticeship era. But for now,
these elements have developed independently of one another. They do not in any sense form a
coherent system of education. That is where the need for visionaries is most apparent. It will take
energetic visionaries to do the kind of work Horace Mann did during the first educational
revolution -- that is to figure out how to build an equitable and coherent system from these
emerging pieces.
A Comparison of the Three Eras of Education
We are now entering the lifelong learning era of education, having experienced the
apprenticeship and schooling eras. These three eras differ in many aspects. In some ways the
lifelong-learning era reflects elements of the earlier apprenticeship era.
Responsibility: From the parents to the state to the individual and parents. With the
Industrial Revolution the state took over responsibility for educating children from their
parents. There was a concern about immigrant children learning American values and
language. In the present era responsibility for education is moving away from the state to
the parents for younger children and the individual among teenagers and adults.
Content: From practical skills to basic skills and disciplinary knowledge to generic
skills and learning to learn. The content of education before the industrial revolution
focused on the skills and crafts of their parents and relatives, which children would need
as adults. After the industrial revolution schools stressed learning basic skills children
would need to function as intelligent citizens and workers and on the knowledge in the
different disciplines. With the digital revolution, the focus is more on generic skills, such
as problem solving and communication in different media, and on finding resources and
learning from them.
Pedagogy: From apprenticeship to didacticism to interaction. The pedagogy of
apprenticeship involves observation, coaching, and practice. The adult shows how to do
things and then watches while the learner tries, fading support as the learner gains
experience. The pedagogy of school involves lecturing to children, having them read
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texts and practice doing tasks, and testing to see if they have learned what was taught.
The pedagogy of the current era is evolving toward reliance on interaction. Sometimes
this involves interacting with a rich technological environment such as a computer tutor
or a game on the web and sometimes with other people by means of a computer network.
Assessment: From observation to testing to embedded assessment. In the apprenticeship
era the master observed learners and corrected them as they went along, giving them
tasks they were ready for, and seeing if they completed them successfully. In the
schooling era testing emerged as the means to see if learners had acquired the skills and
knowledge taught, before passing learners on to the next level. In the lifelong-learning
era, assessment usually occurs as the learner progresses through a computer learning
environment, in order to provide support to carry out the tasks and determine whether the
learner has accomplished the goals. This looks more like the assessment in the
apprenticeship era than the testing in school.
Location: Centered in the home vs. centered in the school vs. centered in multiple
venues. In the apprenticeship era most work was comprised of household and domestic
industries. Children learned to read at home and carry out adult tasks from parents or
relatives. With the industrial revolution, children were gathered in schools to keep them
off the streets and prepare them for industrial life. Schools are not very amenable to the
customized education that is now sought, and so education is moving into many different
venues, such as homes, workplaces, and learning centers, where learning materials can be
accessed from computers and the web.
Culture: From adult culture to peer culture to mixed-age culture. Before the industrial
revolution children learned from the adults who were working around them. Peer culture
arose with schooling, and in many ways adopted attitudes and beliefs that were opposed
to learning. As learning moves out of a school setting, peer culture may weaken and there
will be settings where children are working on tasks with their parents, other adults,
peers, and often in isolation from other people in a computer environment.
Relationships: From personal bonds to authority figures to computer-mediated
interaction. In the apprenticeship era children learned from adults they grew up around.
With the advent of universal schooling they were learning from adults they did not know
well and who did not understand their personal needs and abilities. As we move toward
computer environments, learners will be interacting with systems that are responsive to
what they do, but that have no understanding of them as individuals. But at the same time
the systems will deal with them in a non-critical, impartial manner.
Perhaps the most striking change from the apprenticeship era to the schooling era was the
state’s assumption of responsibility for educating children. In the current era people interested in
getting ahead are taking back responsibility from the state. But at the same time, what will
happen to learners who are unable to take advantage of the technologies that are transforming
learning?
What may be lost and what may be gained
The revolution in education will alter not just the lives of students, but the entirety of
modern society. As with any revolution, there are will be both gains and losses. Pessimists see
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people becoming subservient to their technologies and being left behind as technology comes to
dominate our lives. Optimists see a golden age of learning opening before us, where people will
be able to find resources to pursue any education they may want. We don’t envision a future that
is either bleak or idyllic, but where elements of both are present. We first want to raise our major
concerns:
Equity. Schools have been the means by which many immigrants and minorities gained
access to the mainstream. Despite widespread tracking and segregation, the public
schools are the institution that fosters equity more than any other institution. If education
fractionates and the states relinquish responsibility for giving students an education, then
poor children are likely to suffer. Public schools may become dumping grounds for poor
and uninterested students, while parents who want to give their children a good education
avail themselves of home schooling, private schools, and learning centers.
Citizenship and Social cohesion. In Jefferson’s and Horace Mann’s vision, education
would prepare people to be good citizens and assimilate them to a common culture. Mann
was very concerned about educating immigrants and developing social cohesion. This
may be lost as parents and individuals take over responsibility for learning. We can
anticipate not only Christian conservatives developing curricula, but many different
interest groups, such as environmentalists, Muslims, and Mexican Americans, developing
curricula that address their concerns about raising children. In such fractionation by
interest groups, citizenship and social cohesion goals may be undermined.
Diversity. As education fractionates, people may learn less about people from other
backgrounds and cultures. As David Brooks argues, we are settling into our own little
“cultural zones” where like-minded people cluster together. Hence, we may find it
difficult to get along with people from different backgrounds or with different views.
Broader horizons. When people select their own education goals, they pick things that
interest them or that are occupation-oriented. Their choices are often narrowly focused.
But a major goal of education is to expand people’s horizons. Hence, there is the problem
of parents steering children along narrow paths. This means that children may not be
exposed to different views on issues and become more parochial in their ideas.
But there are also potential gains:
More engagement. One potential gain is that education will be directed toward what
people want to learn, and hence more engaging. For example, parents who school their
children at home usually encourage them to pursue topics they are interested in.
Furthermore, in distance and adult education, people choose topics they think will help
their careers or that reflect their interests. And when people purchase educational videos,
games, or simulations, they choose topics that interest them. So they are much more
likely than school children to be engaged in learning.
Less competition. Because school is competitive, a sense of failure overwhelms many
students. Most cope by turning their energies to other activities, such as sports. Most
students try to do as little as possible. The goal becomes to get grades that are good
enough not to hurt one’s future, with a minimum of effort. This attitude is inimical to
learning and is a product of the competitive nature of school. If people pursue learning
on their own, they will not feel the sense of failure that comes when everyone is supposed
to learn the same thing at the same time.
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Customization. Another potential gain stems from the capability of computers to
customize education to the particular needs and abilities of individual learners. Computer
learning environments can be designed to provide hints and support to students when
they need help. Hence, computer environments can adapt to the level of the student’s
ability and help all students to succeed.
More responsibility. Parents who school their children at home try to instill a sense of
responsibility in the children themselves. But it is not just home schooling that fosters
responsibility among learners. If people are learning at work or at home using distance
education, they are forced to take responsibility for their own learning. When the state
took over responsibility for education, families and individuals ceded most of the
responsibility to the schools. Many school children seem to defy the schools to teach
them anything. But people are not going to learn much unless they take responsibility for
their own learning.
Less peer culture. Another potential benefit is the diminution of peer culture. Putting
young people into schools, where their main interactions are with peers, creates an
unhealthy situation. Peer culture tends to devalue learning and foster drugs, sex, and
violence. Peer-cultural values emphasize looks and strength rather than intelligence and
hard work. To the degree that children are learning at home, in workplaces, in learning
centers, or libraries, it will tend to undercut peer culture.
Rethinking Education
Education is flux and where it ends up depends on the decisions society makes. So this is
a time of opportunity to determine the future direction of education in ways that we have not
faced in 200 years. To be effective in this changing environment requires that the builders of the
new education system understand the imperatives of the technologies driving the changes in
education.
We encapsulate those imperatives in terms of customization, interaction, and control.
Customization refers to providing people the knowledge they want when they want it and to
supporting and guiding them as they learn. Interaction refers to the ability of computers to give
learners immediate feedback and to engage learners through simulation in accomplishing
realistic tasks. Control refers to putting learners in charge of their learning, so they feel
ownership and can direct their learning where their interests take them.
A possible education reform is to develop national certifications that can be administered
on computer or by assessors at any school or learning center. These certifications would be much
more narrowly focused than a high school diploma. People apply for as many as they like and
can sit for them whenever they are ready. Certifications could be developed in three areas:
academic skills, generic skills, and technical skills. In the academic area English competency
might be assessed at 3rd grade, 6th grade, 9th grade and 12th grade levels of reading and writing. If
people wanted to take courses to prepare for the exams they could, or if they wanted to study on
their own they could. Some learners might obtain a large number of these certifications and some
might obtain fewer.
When students become teenagers, we would trust them to follow a number of different
paths. They might attend school, work, study at home to take certification exams, or participate
8
in some kind of youth organization like AmeriCorps. If they want to go to college, they might try
to get all the certifications they need for college as soon as possible, and go off to college at age
15 or 16. Others might work for a while and come back to school to prepare for college. Ideally
the state would pay for students’ preparation for a certain number of certifications (perhaps 20 or
30). Then people could take courses whenever they are ready, at whatever age. This is far better
than forcing unwilling teenagers to stay in school until they are 16. It would produce a mixed age
population in the courses, filled with people who chose to be there.
Society should not assume that the only way to improve education is to improve the
schools. There are other questions we need to consider, such as: How can we develop games to
teach mathematical reasoning? How can we make learning technology available to more people?
What tools can support people learning on their own? These are questions about improving
education outside of schools.
There are a variety of things we can do to support people to learn on their own: 1) we can
provide machines for all toddlers that help them learn to read on their own, with books by writers
such as Dr. Seuss. These machines could also have computational games to challenge kids. 2)
We can provide tutoring programs on the web to teach a variety of topics that perhaps are tied to
certifications. 3) We can provide computer-based games on the web that foster deep learning and
entrepreneurial skills. These are things that governments should support if they want to be
competitive in the technology age.
Technology is changing what is important to learn in a variety of ways. There are new
literacies that are becoming important, such as creating videos, animations, and web sites.
Computers can carry out all the algorithms taught through graduate school, and yet mathematical
reasoning is more important than ever. Hence we should spend time teaching students to solve
sophisticated problems using computers rather than executing algorithms that computers do well.
Memorizing information is becoming less important with the web available, but people do need
to learn how to find information, recognize when they need more information, and evaluate what
they find.
People will be changing careers often and transitions are difficult. They need help going
back and forth between learning and work. They should be assigned a personal counselor in
middle school to help them think about what they need to learn for different careers and how to
acquire that knowledge. If they leave work, a counselor could advise them on learning
opportunities they can pursue. People will be going back and forth between learning and work
throughout life and ideally they should be able to consult the same counselor as they make these
transitions.
This is the time we need another Horace Mann to provide the vision for an educational
system that can integrate all the different elements we see developing. These elements do not
form a coherent system, and few people know how to avail themselves of the opportunities that
are out there. Society especially needs to concern itself with issues of equity, given that elites can
buy themselves many educational advantages.
Parents and citizens need to push for a more expansive view of education reform. School
leaders and teachers need to understand how learning technologies work and how they change
the basic interactions of teachers and learners. Technology leaders need to work together with
educators, not as missionaries bearing magical gifts, but as collaborators in creating new
opportunities to learn. It will take a concerted effort to bring about such a radical change in
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thinking. If a broader view develops in society, leaders will emerge who can bring about the
political changes necessary to make the new educational resources available to everyone.
About the authors:
Alan Collins is Professor Emeritus of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern
University and formerly Co-Director of the U.S. Department of Education’s Center for
Technology in Education.
Richard Halverson is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy
Analysis at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he is co-founder of the Games,
Learning and Society group.
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... Education has a pivoting role in shaping the future leaders of the nation and world. Every country is heavily investing in up-grading education technology to reap the first mover edge, without which the society can't survive for long ahead (Adams, 2018;Collins & Halverson, 2018). The effectiveness of the today's education system depends heavily on the breadth and depth of the knowledge-skill, imparted through the Digital Learning Environments-DLE within a curriculum backdrop (Langer & Yorks, 2018). ...
... The education system throughout the world is remodelled with the myriad of emerging technology innovations and the countries are heavily investing for reaping the technology first-mover benefits by incorporating it in education system to form the workforce and leaders in par with expectations of the future. Allan Collins and Richard-Halverson urges to reap the benefits of this ultimate educational technology innovations, which opened a divergent learning models from memorization to lifelong flexible learning with 'three encapsulated concepts of customization, interaction, and control' (Collins & Halverson, 2018). The millennium generation were initiated education process with these conceptualized flexible frames whereas, their teachers trying hard to be fitted into these educational technology platforms (Agogo, Traci Hess, 2015;Ahlers, 2016). ...
... Adoption of technology enabled learning process with the paradigm-shift from traditional models to modern digital pedagogies, significantly affected the engagement of the digital immigrant natured teachers (Prensky, 2001(Prensky, , 2010. School administrators and faculty have to possess technology ready inclination for adopting millennium models of teaching-learning environments ( learners; teachers were reconsidered from Sage on the Stage to Guide on the Side (Collins & Halverson, 2018;Lim & Newby, 2019). Integrating technology into teaching-learning became a complex process in which technology ready teachers foster this integration readily and others may encounter a number of difficulties as negative attitudes, beliefs and unwillingness incorporate technology which infuses an alienation and reduces their engagement gradually (Agogo, 2015;. ...
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... International research studies have shown that conventional schools account for a maximum of only 10% of the variance in student achievement [3]. For several million students in underdeveloped countries like Pakistan, the conventional schooling system is a proven failure [4]. It is evident that despite many initiatives taken by provincial governments to promote free and quality education to the masses, Pakistan still ranks 2 nd in the world with the highest number of dropouts and out-of-school children [5] and the quality of education is too low. ...
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The nature of schooling around the world has remained fundamentally unchanged—students go and attend classes physically. There is a hegemony that has kept its design and structure, to that of the 19th and 20th centuries, enduring and largely unchanged. Nevertheless, there is an emergent need to revision and redefine schooling in a changing world, characterized by rapid technological innovations, complexities, and contradictions. In this paper, the author highlights recent knowledge and developments on schooling in 21st-century; and based on his professional experience of designing and implementing technology-infused educational programs across Pakistan, attempted to provide anecdotal evidence for proposing a new paradigm of schooling that not only could respond to an increasingly digital world but also can solve the problems of current schooling in Pakistan. This new paradigm could provide opportunities to learn in new ways—not just for those who go to a school, but also for those who cannot.
... As an unexpected catalyst, COVID-19 forced innovation by requiring a shift to hybrid/virtual teaching followed by continual transitions between in-person and online learning. In a prescient pre-pandemic view of technology and education, Collins and Halverson (2018) observed that in order to adapt to a rapidly changing world, schools should leverage learning opportunities offered by new technology. To develop 21st century skills and ensure students are future-ready, Collins and Halverson asserted that learning should be uncoupled from school, allowing a greater variety of input and increased engagement. ...
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... One of the most pressing challenges for vocational schools is the influence of digitalization on the theoretical and practical places of learning (Euler and Wilbers, 2018). On the one hand, digitalization requires the facilitation of new competencies, on the other hand, new digital educational tools and methods arise (Collins and Halverson, 2018). Amongst others, these competences include the ability to handle various digital technologies (Falloon, 2020), but also data literacy, information retrieval skills and the evaluation of digital data (Koltay, 2017;Henderson and Corry, 2021;Tsai and Wu, 2021). ...
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... The move to distance and hybrid learning has created some challenges for children in maintaining these relationships because of the lack of face-to-face interaction. However, online learning helps to create identity safety for elementary students by removing some barriers, such as high poverty levels, lack of equipment, or modest clothing, such as uniforms (Chang et al., 2019;Collins and Halverson, 2018). According to Tyagi et al. (2020), students feel valued, welcomed, and accepted on online platforms. ...
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... A key opportunity for informal science education is to create contexts for collective participation without identical learning outcomes for each student (Collins et al., 2009). Informal science learning contexts can support the co-construction of learning goals between learners and designers. ...
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