Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Special Blog Assignment

A world where grades will be left behind

Mary Beth Marklin, journalist from USA Today, interviewed several people to get their input of how they envision the world 30 years from today. Sebastian Thurn is forty-five year old vice president of Google, creator of Google’s ‘driverless car’, and professor at the Stanford University in California. Thurn wants to 'revolutionize education' with technology by making learning as fun as playing a video game. Thurn got the idea to change education how we know it today because of the success of his free online course on artificial intelligence, enrolling as many as 160,000 students. When asked how does he see education in 30 years, Thurn replies that he sees education involved in a more intense challenge of exercises and quizzes that will test the students on how well they understand the concepts. Thurn wants to make online classes just as affordable as a cellphone bill. Thurn also believes grades are one reason the education system is failing. However, with Thurn's plan, students will be allowed to take as much time as possible to complete and master assignments with free instructions, but a small fee may apply for certifications and exams. Thurn's vision is to reach every student not just the students that want to learn.

Listening to the next 30 years, I am amazed at how far technology has come, but am even more amazed of how others envision technology in the near future. Thurn's initiative to 'revolutionize education' is also impressive, and some of his reform on education reminds me of Randy Paucsh's ideas in the Last Lecture. Thurn’s plan is to provide a free education, but what puzzles my mind is who will pick up the expense for the free education because nothing is free. Thurn's ideas sound great because the education system is a wreck and needs to be fixed; also, the education system needs to integrate technology in the classroom. I also agree that education should be fun because most children are so bored in the classroom to the point where they begin to act out; therefore, teachers should engage the students. If the students are engaged, then they will understand the concepts and will be able to apply what they have learned. Flipping the classroom will also be a great start because it allows students to preview the lesson before class and allows the teacher to assist the lower learners while the advance learners can work on challenging lessons. The subject on grades was also unique because students would not be issued grades; therefore, allowing students all the time they need to master an assignment. However, I would like to know what approach a teacher will take if the student prolongs the assignment. Overall, I believe the next 30 years will be mind boggling, especially for the people today that still do not believe technology should be in the classroom. However, in the next 30 years, I hope everyone has jumped on the technology bandwagon and find using beneficial for our students to be successful in this competitive world.

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