Don't Assume We Can All Learn Like Bill

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Don't Assume We Can All Learn Like Bill

Jul 27, 2014

NOT YOUR KIND OF PEOPLE: There's a risk that edtech developers are building tools based on their own successful, self-directed learning experiences, Annie Murphy Paul points out in Slate. She writes: "many of [Bill] Gate's fellow leaders in the edtech world are also members of the autodidact club,"

a self-selected group of individuals who have schooled themselves in a fast-changing field for which there is no settled syllabus, no well-established curriculum. In turn, their preferences and proclivities have shaped the educational technologies that the rest of us use, as well as the expectations we hold about what ed tech can and should do.

Echoing some of the ideas exchanged in a lively back-and-forth between Alex Hernandez, Benjamin Riley and others over the idea of "personalized" learning, Paul cites research that "call the very notion of self-directed learning 'an urban legend in education.'" While it would be great if we could all be as driven as Bill Gates, she says, the edtech industry would do well to make sure that:

the autodidacts who create and promote the educational technology used by the rest of us could keep in mind that the support of people and institutions is always integral to learning.
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