In the last ten years, online shopping has gone from good to great. We can now buy just about anything online that we can from a brick and mortar store—and often at a better price.
What has brick and mortar retail done in response? The best have doubled down on experience and relationships. Makes sense, doesn’t it? In a world where I can buy nearly anything faster and cheaper online, the rationale for physically going to a store is often because it offers me an experience and/or a human relationship that online cannot (yet) provide.
Not surprisingly, education technology (edtech) is slowly, but surely, moving from good to great—and one of the many joys of building WonderLab is that we Mentor Guides have a front row seat. In our “Code It” Workshop last weekend, we marveled as WonderLab Learners in a few short hours invented their own game or animation using MIT’s Scratch platform, while others chose to use Code.org to acquire the skills they needed to improve a Flappy Bird game and make it their own.
Interested in other examples of edtech in action? Watch this terrific Code.org video. Listen to the stories of these iconic engineers and entrepreneurs. See the common threads of thought that connect them—the powerful spark of motivation. The motivation to make something fun for themselves and others. The motivation to solve problems, and then take on and tackle increasingly complex problems. Most importantly, the motivation to love learning.
Many parents’ fundamental concern with edtech is understandable. It’s the worry of comatose kids with eyes glued to their various devices’ screens. But that’s not what I saw in WonderLab last weekend. I saw good technology in the hands of Learners who will one day make it great. I saw kids working together. I saw good technology that was fueling powerful learning experiences and relationships.
I think we need to be clear that there is a fundamental difference between kids using technology to consume versus using it to create. When we understand that, we see a future of learning where experience and relationships matter more than ever. Then we begin to understand that the real opportunity for edtech is ultimately for it to free up humans to be more human with one another.
What online resources are you using to fuel your kids (or your own!) learning? To create? To build experiences and relationships?
Please share your answers to these questions, as we still have a lot to learn about edtech—and per our bigger theme, please share because we are genuinely motivated to love learning more about it!
Thanks for your time today, and thanks in advance for your thoughts,