Virginia Heffernan: Our Education System Needs a Digital Upgrade Now
Some of this boils down to generational bias. Heffernan says that adults need to stop “disparaging digital prowess just because some of us over 40 don't happen to possess it.” Holding this attitude ignores impressive cognitive skills young people are developing on their own, online. The first step to overhauling our archaic system is to start viewing stereotypical distractions as pillars of learning. Using just one example, students should be encouraged to publish work online and allow it to be subjected to criticisms and internet-based improvements. Classrooms should also move away from solitary piecework and towards collaboration under a digital literacy banner.
This isn’t the first time Virginia Heffernan has written about digital culture and its paradigm-shifting affects on education. Previously, she’s filed thought provoking pieces on the attention span myth and the implications of learning by rote. These articles, taken together, highlight her ability to rethink our new online medium: its enormity, its effect on society, and our place in it. An op-ed contributor for The New York Times, Heffernan treats the Internet not as merely a new technology or a business tool, but as a cultural object—and, in this case, an educational game-changer.
Read more about digital educaiton speaker Virginia Heffernan