Monday, 20 October 2008

Teaching for the 21st century

At the K12 Online Conference Professor Stephen Heppell presented It Simply Isn’t the 20th Century Any More Is It?: So Why Would We Teach as Though It Was?

Stephen says that technology can do almost anything what we want, but the challenge is to determine what it is we want? He asserts that the education factory model needs to be replaced by new concepts that reflect the fundamental changes of society. He describes it as the end of “they” and the beginning of “us”. "They" being the big corporations and "us" being individuals and communities who now have the tools, knowledge and ability to make their own choices and have their own voice.

In this age, individuals have more power by having knowledge freely at any time and thus make their own informed decisions. Also important, is the social communication and collaboration that globally creates communities of interest that can rival a corporation.

Definitions of knowledge, literacy and identity are changing and this is impacting throughout our society. Stephen says we are witnessing “the death of education and the dawn of learning.” It is time for education to catch up, our challenge is to find new models for teaching and learning.


  1. Hi Shaun, I thought we might take this offline for a minute.... what we are teaching our kids about we/us is very important and going way beyond their surfing habits. But on this topic, what we teach them depends on their ages. When they are very young, we need to teach them to take great care .... every link you click on needs to be EXAMINED before you click on it. The problem especially with the we/us seems to be worst at the adolescent/teen stage...Facebook is a good example. Kids think they are in a small community and don't take precautions, but they are on the WWW. Hey ... Durban!!! that's cool. I travelled with someone from Durban many many years ago! Cheers gail @

  2. Hey ... have you ever thought about moderating your comments???