If you can learn it on YouTube, why bother going to school

As an edtech geek I often have others showing up in my classroom laptop in hand wanting me to fix a problem or two.

I don’t consider myself particularly computer literate – just a very good googler. In fact I’ve often pointed out as I’m fixing something the steps I’m doing along the way – finding a resource, watching a video or reading the instructions, trying, re-watching, re-trying, finding a new resource if need be until I have success.

There is an amazing plethora of skills out there online.

From hairstyles to programming, someone somewhere has probably created a ‘how to’ at some point.

And you can teach yourself some pretty cool stuff as this 11 year old points out by rewinding and retrying.

Which leads to the question – why do kids need to come to school.

Connection  – when all is said and done kids don’t remember much of the content of school. What comes up time and time again at the end of school leaver speeches is the social connections and the relationships with peers and teachers. So why do we organise schools around divisions of knowledge rather than building relationships?

Motivation– Going to local dance classes I’m in a room with other people who are in the same situation. I feed off their energy and enthusiasm on days when I’m just not feeling like exercising.

The environment as the teacher – There’s something about bookshops and libraries that make us want to sit down and read, religious buildings are places to pause and reflect, museums and art galleries heighten our sense of observation. Our rooms should provoke interest and help children to see themselves as junior versions of the academic disciplines they are exploring.

Feedback Part of the act of sharing is to elicit feedback. Likes, comments, shares are acts of positive feedback. However nothing beats timely and accurate feedback from an expert.

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