With school starting to ramp up around the country over the next few weeks, it seemed a good time to offer a long overdue shout-out to one of my former teachers, Mr. Spiegl, my 7th grade science teacher.
Mr. Spiegl assigned my class a science project called the “Distillation of Wood” in which we used a Bunsen Burner and some beakers and such to break a piece of wood down into its component parts, liquids, gases, etc.
Obviously, I didn’t learn much lasting about wood, or science for that matter, based on that description. But, that’s sort of the point. Knowledge of the elements of wood wasn’t going to take me very far in life. But, these lessons from the “Distillation of Wood” experiment continue to be somewhat profound:
As I continue to work in and around education and expand my world into the realm of education technology, I am ever mindful of the distinctions between information and knowledge, between content and process, between education and learning.
It’s not about the tool. It’s the process the tool allows and, in the hands of a great teacher, the world of learning it can open up.