A week ago I had the pleasure of having dinner with Kris Alexanderson, a recent history Ph.D. and an assistant professor at Drexel University in Philadelphia. At some point in our dinner conversation, I found myself talking about how it seemed to me that the focus of much of the contemporary discussion of education is on training for employment rather than what I understand to be education. Kris responded with a reflection on her undergraduate years at Bard College and how living in that learning community for four years changed her life, how she recognizes that she is a different person today for the engagement she had with professors and students there. Although not at all aimed at any specific employment, her education was to her infinitely more valuable in that it left her with the ability to learn essentially whatever she choose to learn in her life and world.
I foud myself thinking about that conversation this morning as I came across the term “digital school” in my daily attempt to keep up with the news in public education. Digital school? Digital education? To me a digital school is to education as masturbation is to love.