Teach kids to convert information into intelligence


Education should teach students to convert information to intelligence, said Jaime Casap, Google’s Global Education Evangelist. Casap was speaking at a recent kick-off event for the Arizona SciTech Festival in Scottsdale.

“The tools are all here and we do not need any further information. All we need is to convert this information into intelligence and do it well.”

Are our schools equipped to do that? Are teachers making efforts to teach a young generation to selectively use data, learn to interpret it well and actually use it in real life situations?

Education, according to Jaime needs to go through a radical design. “While we know that children learn in different ways, how do we make this happen?”

On a typical day, 1000 teachers quit the teaching profession in this country. There is a constant turnover of instructional leaders in middle schools and there is a crisis in educational leadership.

States like Arizona must “grow their own farms” to attract more high-tech industries, says Casap. “To do this we need to support incubators, offer tax breaks and interest rates for folks who want to stay here.”

“A quality workforce is what we need, not quantity,” he added. In the U.S. only 14 percent of students are graduating in Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) fields. In China it is 42 percent while in Korea it is 32 percent.

We have only two options: either radically design education to fit the needs of the individual learner or stay with the factory model of the 1950s.

The choice is ours but time is not on our side.

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