After talking with others and spending some more time thinking instead of just blathering out loud I have more questions than answers as usual. Gary Stager has done what he intended. He has made me question what our curriculum is and challenge my beliefs about learning. Question what school is in America today and what it should be tomorrow. Still however, I have no answers. All that I do know is that our current system is not great. It is not awful, but it is not great.
I am still not sure what needs to be done to create a better system. How do you create a system of learning when you do not know what you want everyone to learn? We cannot predict the world of tomorrow well enough to know exactly what needs to be learned. So we must do more to teach the learning process to our kids. If we can create learners that can thrive well beyond any content we offer, then we are successful.
How to do this in the confine of our current system of accountability and high stakes testing? I have no idea. How to do it in an age when students are using tools to communicate and learn that teachers do not understand? That one I can work on.
Overall I have come to the realization that I have to stop looking to others for all the answers and just start listening to them to make sure the right questions are being asked. I have to make sure I keep learning. Gary is doing the right thing by not spitting out what he thinks the answer "might be". He is also not regurgitating information we all have already. He is thinking. He is forcing me to challenge my beliefs. I cannot thank Dr. Stager enough for that.
I am not sure that those who I feel understand this big picture thinking have the right audience though. The ed-tech community in general is its own audience right now. Others need to hear it. The educational policy makers are the people who need to understand. Again the question, how do we begin to get them to challenge their thinking? One thing is for sure, the future can and will be a learning experience for all of us, if we are willing to learn.