By some strange synergy, the rise of EdTech – that product of a supposedly post-industrial industry – has gone hand in hand with the rise of what might be called a horticultural model of education. This is the model explicity …




The Element and Finding Your Element are Sir Ken Robinson’s venture into the self-help market, where he delivers a message that is, in one respect, the exact opposite of the message about education heard in his immensely popular TED videos. …


At no time in history have people been so obsessed with their tools. The edtech discourse turns discussions of education into discussions about the new educational tools, and the discourse of the digital revolution assumes that the latest wave of …



If Sugata Mitra thinks of himself as basically a humble scientist investigating the benefits of educational technology, he is deceiving himself. His appeal – the crucial factor explaining his rise to fame – lies not in the scientific rigor of …


What is “personalized education”? Some teachers hear in the term nothing more than a confirmation that they are right to pay so much attention to the needs, interests and motivation of the individual pupils in their classes. Other teachers join …


In his 2013 TED talk at Long Beach California, Sugata Mitra gave a bold political twist to his story of education by placing it in the context of a grander story about empire. The now familiar story of the hole …



The RSA animation team came up with the following caricature of a teacher to illustrate Sir Ken Robinson’s talk about the need for a change of paradigm in education. In a different context such a depiction of a teacher would …


A disturbing number of people are still talking about personalising education – making it person-centred. Often, this talk about the student as person is little more than snappy advertising copy that is left deliberately vague so that it can mean …


In glowing reports of the new digital technology written by educationalists, one of the most prominent buzzwords is: autonomy. Digital technology is great for learner autonomy, we hear. But is it? Of course, there are a thousand and one new …


Anyone using Google on November the 2nd saw this: How many different ways can you read that? Surely it cannot simply be read as an honour paid by the largest internet corporation to a winner of a Nobel prize. Can …


This is our response to a question posed by the TESOL Greece blog: ”During an economic crisis, resources (books, budgets, infrastructure) are limited but high standards and qualifications are required so that learners can survive on the job market. Can …


Marc Prensky, who was responsible for the term “digital native”, hoped that his newer term “digital wisdom” would become an equally popular buzzword for the digital revolution. As things stand, it seems to have fallen flat on its face. Why? …


After reading Hannah Arendt’s essay “The Crisis of Education” some perverse masochistic urge impelled us to look again at that video of the boy with the menacing face wagging his finger at the camera, telling an imaginary low-tech university graduate …


We are grateful to Nik Peachey for sharing an interesting video providing a lucid description of what a personal learning network is. Even if you are not one of those who still suspect that the PLN might be some CIA-backed …


Hannah Arendt’s “The Crisis of Education” (published in 1954) continues to be massively relevant to the ongoing conversation about education. Were we to bring her back, she would doubtless waste no time writing a sequel to “The Crisis in Education” …


With all due respect to Hawking, we disagree. The greatest enemy of knowledge is neither ignorance nor the illusion of knowledge, but indifference. It is not irrelevant that people are circulating his quotation with a picture of his penetrating gaze …


Watching a ballet performance last night at a school, we were moved to see the children evidently enjoying the discipline and the high standards required by the art of ballet. Suddenly we wondered: What if pedagogy took as its starting …


Where’s the revolution? We’re back in England and are looking for signs of the sea change that was heralded by Marc Prensky (and others) when they claimed (back in 2001) to see a new generation connected to all things digital …


There is no chance now to have some Pauline road-to-Damascus experience. Every road has been lined by unpleasant things that negate the possibility of anything resembling an epiphany. Instead, the key experiences in our lives are ones in which we …


So what’s the problem with education? People who haven’t been to Delphi answer the question in one of two ways: Either they say the problem is knowledge or they say it is ignorance. The former vilify what might be called …


Imagine for a moment that you have been called to the palace and have been offered a too-good-to-refuse stipend to educate the royal goldfish. What would you teach it? What is the most important thing it should understand? Let me …


According to Professor Sugata Mitra, outdoctrination is what should counteract the dreaded indoctrination. It involves what Sugata Mitra calls a “minimally invasive” form of education. A school (it could be an old-fashioned maximally invasive school) sets aside some space and …


We want to raise a warning to teachers – warning them that in their midst are some very dangerous figures. They are arguing that the practice of teaching should end – that teachers should be made redundant. This is the …


The problem with digital books is quite simple: They are not things. They are not ordinary physical things – in the way that good old-fashioned paper books are physical things. We overlook this simple fact at our peril. And the …


Sir Ken Robinson calls for a revolution in education, the massed crowd rises to its feet and applauds. We remain seated, somewhat skeptical. We have had a little experience of revolutionary groups outside the field of education, and we are …