December 2011 Volume 8

A Few Words From The Editor

Dr. Glen Laman
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"The Perfect School"

The perfect school would only have one student per class.

Isaac Asimov, the prolific writer of science and science fiction books, wrote or edited some 500 books in his lifetime. He envisioned a time when each student would be able to learn the subject of his or her own choosing at just the right pace. Although he was trained in chemistry, he wrote a lot more books on astronomy in which he was completely self –taught because of his personal interest in the subject.

He spoke of a time when computers and machines will be doing all the routine work and humans will be doing only creative work. We would then be free to learn the things that truly interest us. Computers would have all the knowledge available in an easily accessible manner. That would be a wonderful time for learning since:

"You can ask, and you can find out, and you can do it in your own home, at your own speed, in your own direction, in your own time… Then, everyone would enjoy learning. Nowadays, what people call learning is forced on you, and everyone is forced to learn the same thing on the same day at the same speed in class, and everyone is different."

We are fast approaching that time when all information will be immediately available at anytime in anyplace. Many courses are now delivered via the internet, for example. Indeed, we are already seeing a "one to one relationship between the information source and the information consumer."

This does not mean there will no longer be a need for teachers. And not everyone be another Asimov. However, the days of the teacher as the source of knowledge at the head of the classroom are fading. Teachers will become more like coaches with instant access to the latest material and techniques. The technology will allow them to know immediately which students did not understand a topic instead of waiting for a test days or weeks later.

Students will have personal access via internet to material they find difficult and can practice until the topic is mastered. No more staring out the window or tuning out the teacher when you find the topic frustrating.

Will KC be ready for this new age of teaching and learning?

Glen Laman

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