This podcast features a recording of the keynote address by Roger C. Schank at the SITE 2007 conference in San Antonio, Texas, on March 26, 2007. The abstract of Roger’s keynote was: Modern technology seems to have influenced every area of our society, but it has had very little effect on our conceptions of teaching and learning. We still believe that someone who knows a lot should stand up and tell what he knows to people who know less. We believe that this methodology makes sense despite the fact there is no other arena in which this kind of interaction takes place. We don’t lecture to our children; we let them experience life and try to help along the way. We don’t lecture to the people who work for us; we let them do their jobs and try to help as we can. But when we design schools, whether they are on line schools, schools with campuses, or training courses, we still hold firm to the old idea: talk and people will learn. Unfortunately this methodology, derived from a time when only the lecturer could read and so it made sense for him to read to people is not simply out of date, it doesn’t actually work. What is the point of technology in education if it fails to enable experience? Technology in education is really a Trojan horse, allowing a revolution to begin. The way we teach is wrong and what we teach if wrong. Computers can fix both if we allow it. To do this we must look at how people actually learn, how the teacher’s role needs to be completely rethought, and how computer can re-create real life environments.

SHOWNOTES:

  1. About Roger Shank
  2. Socratic Arts (Roger’s company focused on story-based curriculum)
  3. Engines for Education (a nonprofit organization founded by Roger Schank, whose goal is to radically change our notions of school)
  4. My notes from Roger’s keynote

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