Thursday, December 20, 2007

Restoring the Balance BACK to Visual Learning

Rummaging through the trunk of my car recently for something worthwhile to read while I ate my diner breakfast of scrambled eggs and rye toast, I exhumed the October 2005 Edutopia Magazine. As I lectured myself about eating only a few of the home fried potatoes that the waitress brought even though I didn't order them, the magazine fell open to VISUALLY SPEAKING a brilliant article by Leonard Shlain. A lucky breakfast mindblower....

I highly recommend you read it @:

Mr. Schlein points out that "The conventional prejudice is well known: Now that DVDs and movies are ubiquitous, and television and computer games incessant, generations of students are becoming less literate, with ominous implications for the future..."

But wait a minute. What if there are advantages to the newly emerging intellectual virtual LEARNscape (my word) that has been emerging and asserting itself through the proliferation of digital/info-tainment technologies?

Schlein points out that our text-biased world may have represented a short sighted lapse in the human potential honoring balance of things anyway. Text sets up a linear, temporaral favor of educating the brain's left lobe (and probably empowering left lobe oriented individuals). Consequently, because school has been so far canted in this direction the entire prospect of human education has been out of balance.

The new technologies, if viewed rationally, offer the opportunity for us to restore that balance and return many of the human potentials that have been given short shrift over the past couple of centuries to a more realistic level of value. Schlein states Evolution, did not naturally prepare humans for the immense innovation we call literacy... It has taken thousands of years and a major technological revolution to begin the rebalancing of human cognition.

The pendulum it appears is now swinging the other way. This is something that Educators must become aware of, attempt to understand, and embrace as part of how they do what they do!

This revelatory understanding of a juggernaut bearing down on the field of Education will certainly upset the apple cart. Do educators have the will, the intestinal fortitude to drag themselves out of the comfort zone and handle the white knuckle roller coaster ride that looms before them?


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