I remember arguing with my fourth-grade teacher about simple calculations. I was using my new Casio calculator watch to complete a worksheet and she told me, “You know, when you grow up, you won’t be walking around with a calculator in your pocket all the time.” Little did she know we’d be walking around with supercomputers in our pockets. While we still need to know the process behind mathematical calculations, this does mean we can spend less time on memorization and more on practical application.
Flash-forward to Google’s recent announcement of their Pixel Bud headphones, which can translate between 40 different languages, and we can see some implications for world languages classes in the future.
Why spend countless hours remembering the conjunctive or past tense of a Spanish verb, when in a couple of years, we’ll all be able to freely speak to each other and instantly pick up the translation? Just like with the calculator, though, the Pixel Buds won’t give you insight into culture, idioms, and intonation of another language.
Technology will continue to tackle the low-hanging fruit on the Bloom’s taxonomy tree. We can already get an answer from Alexa or Siri or Google to just about any basic fact-based question we ask. Schools need to realize this now and begin to transition teaching and learning to incorporate more application, analysis, and creative uses for knowledge—instead of focusing only on internal memorization. After all … Se non cambiamo, il mondo cambia senza di noi.
Carl Hooker (@mrhooker) is the director of innovation and digital learning at Eanes (TX) ISD. Read more at hookedoninnovation.com.