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The whole article seems like a straw man. Nobody is proposing to replace real-world experience by technology. People are proposing to replace

* going to a library and not finding a book by wikipedia

* learning glaciology not by reading about it in an outdated school book, but by increasing snowfall in a simulation and seeing the glacier grow

* not learning a huge amount of useless facts, but being able to look them up like the rest of society does




The funny thing about this is I think I get where you are coming from, but also think all of your examples are at best problematic.

Wikipedia is a reasonable replacement for an encyclopedia - which remains a terrible replacement for a library.

Simulations are never a replacement for what they simulate. At best this can be a great supplement to more concrete learning - at worst they replace it with facile misunderstanding.

Finally - while students absolutely should be able to leverage the vast amount of information we have available, a lot of it is misleading or just intentionally wrong. We should be working hard now on figuring out how to give kids tools to evaluate and analyse this. Raw information is easier than ever to put your hands on, but that's never been particularly useful by itself.

So absolutely, let's leverage technology But lets not pretend that we have viable replacements (yet?) for what we don't. A vital skill to teach these days is the ability to sanity check whatever you are reading on line against reality and multiple sources. If you don't become somewhat sophisticated about navigating this sea o f information, you will be taken advantage of. That is one thing we should be concentrating on teaching - real skills, not parroting the first thing you find on Wikipedia. Nobody learns those on screens alone.

The facts you came away from an education with have never been the point. The point is to learn how to learn, how to test new ideas, how to verify information, etc.


Those unfortunate children would be robbed or the valuable skill set based on learning how to learn, how to seek knowledge when it’s not just a Google search away. Learning facts may seem useless, but again, it teaches you how to learn, how to study and synthesize new ideas then show you’ve learned them.

I like the glaciology bit though, and they should learn how to use Wikipedia and a library. Just don’t pithe your kids based on some wrongheaded notion of expediency or everyone else doing it.




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