The Metaphor for 21st Century Education

Jeff Utecht posted this 21st Century Education Metaphor:

I like to use the analogy of a river and a delta.

A river is constantly flowing in one direction, slow and steady. One way information flowIf something blocks it, it will find a path of least resistance around it and continue on its way. Information in the 20th century and web 1.0 was much the same way information flowed in one direction. Sure you could paddle upstream, but for the most part we went with the current we read web sites but did not respond. We moved students through text books starting with page 1 and ending with the final chapter.

In a 21st century and web 2.0 environment information is more like a delta. Water flowing in all directions taking different paths and moving at different speeds depending on the rate of flow up stream. Even though the water takes a different path it all ends up in the same place…the ocean.Free flowing information

We need to allow students to be deltas with information. To allow them to choose their paths and connect and disconnect to information as they find a better path to follow. As educators we play the role of rocks, soft dirt, erosion, making sure that no matter what path the student takes they end up in the ocean, or meeting the standard. Only by adopting a connectivism theory and using web 2.0 tools can students act likes deltas.

Jeff, this is an awesome metaphor and I’ll definitely use it in my bid for 1:1. One of the things our 5th grade teachers get is that the students will be teaching them to use the technology. So the currents running in different directions will happen, hopefully:->

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