The screenshot above is from newswire.com and addresses the message Futurist Jack Uldrich planned to deliver as a keynote speech  at the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) annual meeting, the “Future of Education”.  This is a crystal ball into how Missouri children will learn: this speaker teaches teachers/students should “unlearn” obsolete knowledge and assumptions:

“One of the greatest challenges in education is the accelerating rate of change itself, and when it comes to future-proofing the system, the ability to unlearn will be as important as learning.”

 

What does that “unlearning” include?  Traditional teaching methods/curriculum?  That process supersedes content?  That data sets predict a 5 year old student’s future? His speech was to include the hallmarks of 21st global learning:

In his fascinating, informative and interactive presentation, Jack — hailed by BusinessWeek as “America’s Chief Unlearning Officer” — will also explain what technologies will impact their future.

He will delve into how the technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, The Internet of Things and online learning could affect the Missouri public school administrators in the next decade.

 

This press release should serve as a blueprint of the educational philosophy of the state agency.

 

Does this belief of “unlearning” include scrubbing traditions and historical documents if they don’t fit into the “new” way of learning?  How does one “unlearn”?  Who decides what one should “unlearn”?  What is “obsolete” and what is worth learning?  Should teachers/students still have access to those documents and traditions that the State finds objectionable?

Project how this could evolve: could this article about India squelching historical documents via the Wayback Machine (provides information on cached/scrubbed webpages) happen in America?

 

This is a breaking story in India and details are sketchy. Not all of India is affected but the act of censoring previous documents should be troubling in the precedent it sets.  From Who benefits the most by blocking Internet Archive – Wayback Machine in India?:

Archives play an important role in drafting important things in the past and when it comes to the internet, there has to be a feasible solution. Internet archival site Wayback Machine (or Internet Archive) does just that on a massive scale.

In the past two decades, Internet Archive has stored over 302 billion pages, which can be useful to netizens in more ways than one can imagine. But Wayback Machine hit an obstacle as the Indian government blocked access to the non-profit site.

That’s an important question to ask and broaden: Who benefits the most by blocking Internet Archive….and WHY is it blocked?  Is it out of the realm of possibility that this is one avenue to “unlearn” and could we see this as teachers/students “unlearn” what the thought architects believe is useless/harmful information to their agenda?

Is this the agenda of the Missouri DESE: where unlearning is celebrated and pursued in this “Future of Education”? What will this look like for your student?

 

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