Dr Chris Dede
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Chris Dede Harvard University
The first module represents a pond ecosystem (Figure 3). Students explore the pond and the surrounding area, even under the water, see realistic organisms in their natural habitats, and collect water, weather, and population data. Students visit the pond over a number of virtual "days," and eventually make the surprising discovery that, on a day in late summer, many fish in the pond have died. Students are challenged to figure out what happened – they work in teams to collect and analyze data, and gather information to solve the mystery and understand the complex causality of the pond ecosystem.
James: We really believe that in a developed country like ours any person who has only standard skills or standardized skills they can be taught anywhere in the world now, and they can be done a lot more cheaply in low-cost centers. And so people are going to-- if they're going to survive in a developed country outside of low-level service work, they're going to have to have innovation and creativity. And so the form of schooling that we engage in basically privileges people who know a lot of facts but can't solve problems with them is on its last legs.