Einstein, who was never able to recall his own phone number, was famous for not memorizing anything that could be quickly and easily looked up in a standard reference volume. “Never memorize what you can look up in books,” he said.
(Source: Life Magazine)
He said this probably in 1920s when books and newspapers were the only sources of information, and at the time it was probably an odd way of thinking for many people. But he was so right, because he needed the capacity of his brain to identify problems, find solutions and new ways of seeing things rather than store millions of not-so-necessary information.
Can you imagine how much he would have loved an iPad?
Here I use iPad as a symbol for the other available technologies that make reaching information easy and I want to thank Steve Jobs for changing the way we work, the way we create and the way we communicate.
Rest in peace Steve Jobs.
Well… From 1920s to 2000s, although the school systems haven’t changed significantly, the way we live and learn has changed enormously.
In today’s global world, in order to be successful, we should be able to think critically and creatively. Therefore we don’t need not-so-necessary information in our brains either.
What we need to do is to identify the best channels through which we can reach information. As educators we have twice as much responsibility. First, for ourselves, to develop professionally; second, for our students, to guide them towards appropriate learning resources. Besides we need to accept the fact that today’s learners need information to use it, not to memorize it. Therefore we should set them meaningful tasks, give them real reasons to learn and create learning environments where they can use what they learn in class. While doing this, we can benefit from available technologies, technologies that offer us useful tools to make learning easier, more interesting and more fun.
I think it is necessary to reconsider our role in students’ learning experiences. We are no longer ‘teachers’. We are guides, facilitators and sources of inspiration. And most importantly, we are lifelong learners.
Wishing you a week full of joy and laughter!