by Prof. Dr. Stephen Krashen, Dr. Nooshan Ashtari
Use of technology has for the most part assumed a traditional model of teaching and learning: we present material in lectures and textbooks, students study the material, and are then tested on it. We examine here the use of technology when we make different assumptions: Assumption 1. We are all different. Each of us has unique talents, interests and desires. School should help us discover what our talents and interests are, helps us develop them, and then use them to help others and contribute to the common good. To accomplish this, school must “respect and cultivate expertise in a diversity of talents and skills and a curriculum that enables individuals to pursue their strengths” (Zhao, Y. Catching Up or Leading the Way. 2009, p. 156). Assumption 2: We don’t learn by “study,” but by trying to solve problems of real interest to us. Technology can be a tremendous help: Students can have access to a wide variety of media and expertise (teachers) that/who will help them explore their options. They will be able to develop their expertise through solving problems of interest to them, easily finding videos, written text, and helpful colleagues, teachers and experts to help, guide, and collaborate with them. In addition, students will be able to connect with, work with, learn from, and help others with similar interests, no matter where they are in the world, inexpensively and easily. Assessment can be based on the completion of projects that are relevant to the solution of real-world problems. No separate tests are required. We predict, however, that with this approach students will acquire and learn far more than they would using traditional instruction, and at the same time make contributions to society.