Advent of Google means we must rethink our approach to education
Would a person with good handwriting, spelling and grammar and instant recall of multiplication tables be considered a better candidate for a job than, say, one who knows how to configure a peer-to-peer network of devices, set up an organisation-wide Google calendar and find out where the most reliable sources of venture capital are, I wonder? The former set of skills are taught in schools, the latter are not. We have a romantic attachment to skills from the past. Longhand multiplication of numbers using paper and pencil is considered a worthy intellectual achievement. In school examinations, learners must reproduce facts from memory, solve problems using their minds and paper alone. The curriculum lists things that children must learn. One of the teachers who works with me said to her class of nine-year-olds: "There is something called electromagnetic radiation that we can't see, can you figure out what it is?" One of them says: "Aren't we going to do any work?" "What's work, then?"