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Rewiring Education: How Technology Can Unlock Every Student's Potential

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What if we could unlock the potential in every child? As it turns out, we can. Apple's iconic cofounder Steve Jobs had a powerful vision for education: employing technology to make an enormous impact on the lives of millions of students. To realize this vision, Jobs tapped John D. Couch, a trusted engineer and executive with a passion for education. Couch believed the real What if we could unlock the potential in every child? As it turns out, we can. Apple's iconic cofounder Steve Jobs had a powerful vision for education: employing technology to make an enormous impact on the lives of millions of students. To realize this vision, Jobs tapped John D. Couch, a trusted engineer and executive with a passion for education. Couch believed the real purpose of education was to help children discover their unique potential and empower them to reach beyond their perceived limitations. Today, technology is increasingly integrated into every aspect of our lives, rewiring our homes, our jobs, and even our brains. Most important, it presents an opportunity to rewire education to enrich and strengthen our schools, children, and society In Rewiring Education, Couch shares the professional lessons he's learned during his 50-plus years in education and technology. He takes us behind Apple's major research study, Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow (ACOT), and its follow-up (ACOT 2), highlighting the powerful effects of the Challenge-Based Learning framework. Going beyond Apple's walls, he also introduces us to some of the most extraordinary parents, educators, and entrepreneurs from around the world who have ignored the failed promises of memorization and, instead, utilize new science-backed methods and technologies that benefit all children, from those who struggle to honor students. Rewiring Education presents a bold vision for the future of education, looking at promising emerging technologies and how we--as parents, teachers, and voters--can ensure children are provided with opportunities and access to the relevant, creative, collaborative, and challenging learning environments they need to succeed.


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What if we could unlock the potential in every child? As it turns out, we can. Apple's iconic cofounder Steve Jobs had a powerful vision for education: employing technology to make an enormous impact on the lives of millions of students. To realize this vision, Jobs tapped John D. Couch, a trusted engineer and executive with a passion for education. Couch believed the real What if we could unlock the potential in every child? As it turns out, we can. Apple's iconic cofounder Steve Jobs had a powerful vision for education: employing technology to make an enormous impact on the lives of millions of students. To realize this vision, Jobs tapped John D. Couch, a trusted engineer and executive with a passion for education. Couch believed the real purpose of education was to help children discover their unique potential and empower them to reach beyond their perceived limitations. Today, technology is increasingly integrated into every aspect of our lives, rewiring our homes, our jobs, and even our brains. Most important, it presents an opportunity to rewire education to enrich and strengthen our schools, children, and society In Rewiring Education, Couch shares the professional lessons he's learned during his 50-plus years in education and technology. He takes us behind Apple's major research study, Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow (ACOT), and its follow-up (ACOT 2), highlighting the powerful effects of the Challenge-Based Learning framework. Going beyond Apple's walls, he also introduces us to some of the most extraordinary parents, educators, and entrepreneurs from around the world who have ignored the failed promises of memorization and, instead, utilize new science-backed methods and technologies that benefit all children, from those who struggle to honor students. Rewiring Education presents a bold vision for the future of education, looking at promising emerging technologies and how we--as parents, teachers, and voters--can ensure children are provided with opportunities and access to the relevant, creative, collaborative, and challenging learning environments they need to succeed.

30 review for Rewiring Education: How Technology Can Unlock Every Student's Potential

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kaytee Cobb

    This felt more like a pat on the back to the author than a real non-fiction book about how technology can "unlock every student's potential". There are a few stories of real-world application, but mostly I feel like we get to hear that he worked with this guy, got to shake hands with this one, and really loved developing this program that revolutionized something or other. I get that you can't write a how-to book about bringing technology into classrooms because it just changes too fast, but mos This felt more like a pat on the back to the author than a real non-fiction book about how technology can "unlock every student's potential". There are a few stories of real-world application, but mostly I feel like we get to hear that he worked with this guy, got to shake hands with this one, and really loved developing this program that revolutionized something or other. I get that you can't write a how-to book about bringing technology into classrooms because it just changes too fast, but mostly by the end of this book, I felt really vindicated that at least our homeschool "classroom" is getting really close to that ideal 1-to-1 teacher-student ratio that Crouch champions. He says it's only possible with the use of technology. But other than rethinking a "ban" on technology for educational purposes, I didn't really feel like this was anything truly groundbreaking.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Steffanie

    Rewiring Education discusses many ways to unlock every child’s potential. The key word in that sentence in relation to this book is every. Couch states, "I believe we should prepare every child to be extraordinary, which means making opportunities available to them to be so, and that begins with a quality education" (39-40). There are many ways to bring about this quality of education. Couch writes a lot about CBL-Challenge Based Learning. This is an inquiry-based learning framework that builds Rewiring Education discusses many ways to unlock every child’s potential. The key word in that sentence in relation to this book is every. Couch states, "I believe we should prepare every child to be extraordinary, which means making opportunities available to them to be so, and that begins with a quality education" (39-40). There are many ways to bring about this quality of education. Couch writes a lot about CBL-Challenge Based Learning. This is an inquiry-based learning framework that builds upon the better-known Project Based Learning. His main criticism of PBL is that projects are often assigned to students, while in CBL students are encouraged to work collaboratively to create their own. The “C” could stand for ‘creation’ as well, as “CBL challenges aim to move kids away from being just consumers of content, and toward being its producers and creators” (106). Another interesting aspect of Couch’s prescription for education is that “By using technology to teach digital natives, you are making learning relevant. To engage today’s students, the topic itself doesn’t necessarily have to be made relevant; it could just be the way it’s delivered” (168). I recently found this to be very true. Sometimes the content we have to teach seems irrelevant. I needed to give a test this past week on “Equations”. To make it “real world” the curriculum often provides word problems such as: “An airplane is flying at 150 feet. It ascends to 325 feet. Write and solve an equation to find the change in altitude of the airplane.” Yet in the real world, a true thinker is not going to need to write an equation. They will know to find the difference because that’s what makes sense. Writing down ‘150 + x = 325’ and then using the Subtraction Property of Equality is not relevant, but does need to be taught. Using Couch’s advice, I put my Chapter 7 Study Guide onto my Google Drive, added my “Pear Deck” plugin, and made the study guide interactive. The use of technology alone made this review lesson relevant and enjoyable to my students. They were able to draw ideas right onto the study guide, interact with new technology and discuss answers in a collaborative open environment effectively, because of the great new technology Pear Deck. Couch offers many insights into the power of technology, and each is interesting and even eye-opening. From the story behind Sal Khan, to the way Elon Musk educates his children, to use of the SAMR model and the AR versus VR debate, there is always something to chew on in this book and it would make a wonderful book club book for an ‘Educators Book Club.’ Critique of Theme and Author’s Intent John Couch is most definitely an Apple guy. At times in the book, he seems a bit like a glassy-eyed convert to the corporation whose products I myself love, but with the knowledge that it’s still a money-making corporation that cares about sales above all. For example, Couch argues that in the beginning years of Apple, salaries were capped at $40,000 because Steve Jobs wanted people who “shared his vision and didn’t just see Apple as a financial opportunity” (8). Jobs got Couch to leave a much higher paying job at Hewlett Packard because of “the [Apple] vision”. Perhaps I’m a little jaded with how multi-national corporations work, but I see the pay cap as financially motivated, just packaged more seductively. Another time that Couch seemed too biased to be able to adequately come off as altruistic in his intentions for writing this book is when he discussed LAUSD’s iPad scandal in a very obscured way, never using the district name or pointing directly to facts, but clearly attacking any side that pointed to Apple or the iPads as the problem. One sentence in particular really bothered me. Couch said, “But a bare-bones laptop, offering little more than internet access, is not really comparable to a tablet packed with an ecosystem of interactive apps” (122). I prefer iPads to Chrome Books as well, but to say that Chrome Books are ‘bare-bones’ and offer ‘little’ isn’t reality. There are multitudes of plug-ins that make Chrome Books very useable and since my students have used them for two years now, I do see clear benefits to the “low-end” (122) alternative to iPads. Rewiring Education is an interesting read, but it’s not just written to improve education, it’s written to make Apple look very good. I personally could use a few less Apple Advertisements in my book about unlocking student potential. Couch’s Qualifications John Couch, an early member of the Apple Corporation, and brought back into the company years later as Apple’s First Vice President of Education, has extensive experience in the field of education. When he first left Apple it was to work with a school in San Diego. He no doubt used this Computer Science degree from Berkeley and all of his experience from working at Hewlett Packard and Apple to help turn that school around. His insights contained in Rewiring Education are keen and his tone is generally positive throughout. I particularly appreciate how he never blames teachers for the educational problems that continue to be proliferated. This book is a good overview of problems and general solutions in American education but is more anecdotal and conversational than data-driven and practical. Its strength is that is was fun to read and most teachers reading it are sure to be reinvigorated to bring innovation, creativity, and more student-centered learning into the classroom. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t specific solutions put forth. For example, Couch asserts that computer science coursework should be integrated into elementary curriculum, a computer science course must be required in middle school, and “at least a few CS electives (but ideally a set of courses) would be offered in high school” (171). A Computer science expert would need to be employed at the district level in every district for teachers to be adequately trained. Couch did a good job framing the problem, offering solutions and getting me more interested in delving into other books on education technology, and that’s all I can ask of a 219 page book.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Katie Heil

    Quick read, high level overview of potential for technology to transform classrooms. Gave me lots of ideas - I enjoyed the frameworks included, metaphors for online learning spaces, and real examples. A little Apple-centric, but understandable given that Mr. Couch was the first VP of Education for Apple.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kim Yerkes

    “I believe it’s time we stopped trying to repair and replace education and start rewiring it.” John D. Couch writes this in his book, Rewiring Education: How Technology Can Unlock Every Student’s Potential. But what does this mean? According to Couch, “What’s really needed is rewiring—upgrading our educational operating system so that it better connects students, teachers, parents, and society, and so that our schools can foster creativity and innovative thinking.” It is necessary to steer educa “I believe it’s time we stopped trying to repair and replace education and start rewiring it.” John D. Couch writes this in his book, Rewiring Education: How Technology Can Unlock Every Student’s Potential. But what does this mean? According to Couch, “What’s really needed is rewiring—upgrading our educational operating system so that it better connects students, teachers, parents, and society, and so that our schools can foster creativity and innovative thinking.” It is necessary to steer education away from the old design and embrace what is new, much of which is integrated with technology. Our primary purpose and passion as educators is to educate students and prepare them for the future. That being said, it is key to remember that we are teaching to a generation of digital natives, young people who have come into a world saturated with technology and its potential, often knowing more than their educational providers. Professional development is key in this day and time and teachers must continue to be life-long learners. Couch believes that human touch is the magic formula that allows technology to work within the educational setting and “while technology certainly has the potential to transform both education and students, it takes great teachers to actually unlock it.” A teacher’s role is to motivate students and help them to discover their passion, “encouraging and nurturing an intrinsic love of learning and self-determination, and believing that they can be as successful as they want to be, doing whatever it is they want to do.” With a student who is motivated, there are limitless possibilities, but to guide and facilitate learning and growth we must focus on the ABC’s of 21st Century Learning: Access, Building, and Coding. He argues that education first and foremost needs to be rewired for greater access to hands-on learning supported by well-integrated technology. He then argues that education needs to move away from “teaching to the test” and motivating students with rewards and punishments, and instead that it should teach with a relevant project-based curriculum and motivate students using their interests and passions. Finally, he argues that coding is an essential component of an updated education system because it teaches computational thinking and opens up a new world of tech opportunities. Couch has experience in tech and education, and he is qualified based on his experience. He was Apple’s first VP of Education from 1978 to 1984, and then worked as president of a private school in San Diego for over a decade. He returned to Apple in 2002 and served as the Vice President of Education until last year. The title of this book - Rewiring Education: How Technology Can Unlock Every Student’s Potential - nicely summarizes Couch’s argument. He argues that the current education system is not unlocking every student’s potential and that technology can help. He goes on to say that for technology to help, education needs to be rewired. Couch has worked and studied in both the tech world and the education world, and he is clearly qualified to make this argument. However, it is clear from this book that Couch isn’t quite as interested in talking directly to teachers about how they might change their classrooms and how they use technology right now. In this book, Couch doesn’t seem terribly interested in applying his argument directly to the day-to-day work of a teacher like me. When connecting his ideas about technology and education to the classroom, he tells stories and discusses the psychology of education, but doesn’t talk about the specifics of the classroom as much as I would’ve liked. As an educator, I would’ve liked a book called Rewiring Education: How Technology Can Unlock Every Student’s Potential to give me a few more ideas about how I could rewire education and use technology to unlock student potential in my little corner of the education world. He really nails the psychology of education and the power of technology, and he successfully argues for sweeping change in education, but he doesn’t do much to talk about what small, incremental changes could be made in classrooms like mine. I can see how his points could apply to what I do in my classroom, but I just wish there was a greater wealth of tools and tips for how I could apply all of this in my classroom tomorrow. Overall, this book makes a very good argument for broad changes in testing policy, teacher training, overall classroom management, student learning strategies and motivation, and curriculum. Couch successfully argues for these and a number of other broad changes to education, but he left me wishing he had spent some more time applying his arguments to real classrooms like mine.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Carrie Templeton

    As an instructional design student, this title intrigued me a lot. It covered many great points about education and parenting in a digital world. The exploration of the many ways that technology can compliment traditional classroom learning are a great method of exposing the innumerable educational options available today. I greatly appreciate Couch sharing his parenting experiences while raising children in the growing digital world, there were however moments when his sharing of Apple's educat As an instructional design student, this title intrigued me a lot. It covered many great points about education and parenting in a digital world. The exploration of the many ways that technology can compliment traditional classroom learning are a great method of exposing the innumerable educational options available today. I greatly appreciate Couch sharing his parenting experiences while raising children in the growing digital world, there were however moments when his sharing of Apple's educational achievements came off as a bit more boastful than informative. Overall, I greatly enjoyed this book. Encouragement of technology in education, without forgetting about the phycological aspects and the need for great teachers to help students find their way is my greatest hope for the future of education.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Oh Jun Kweon

    Tone felt a slightly overoptimistic at times due to broad descriptions of examples, but loved how the book was structured to begin with an examination of student psychology. Important insights into whether we truly believe in every student, the intended design of current education, and unreasonable pressure for teachers to produce miracles every week. Still unsure how I feel about technology in education. Couch himself warns us that how technology is used is just as important (in my opinion more Tone felt a slightly overoptimistic at times due to broad descriptions of examples, but loved how the book was structured to begin with an examination of student psychology. Important insights into whether we truly believe in every student, the intended design of current education, and unreasonable pressure for teachers to produce miracles every week. Still unsure how I feel about technology in education. Couch himself warns us that how technology is used is just as important (in my opinion more important) than what technology is used. He gives some eye-opening analogies of teachers getting the most out of technology (which I found quite inspiring). It seems, though, that the large majority of schools don't operate in this way. Teachers can learn a lot from this book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Antonio Stark

    The first book sent by my publisher in the series of books about the Future of Education. Written by the Vice President of Education of Apple, this piece is a succinct history of education's path, and the role of technology in its evolution. Apple and its products are deftly used as examples of different technologies (PCs, tablets, apps), while a broader psychological and social structural gap is exposed. Highly recommended for people in the EdTech world. The first book sent by my publisher in the series of books about the Future of Education. Written by the Vice President of Education of Apple, this piece is a succinct history of education's path, and the role of technology in its evolution. Apple and its products are deftly used as examples of different technologies (PCs, tablets, apps), while a broader psychological and social structural gap is exposed. Highly recommended for people in the EdTech world.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Becky L Long

    Schools in the United States are failing students - literally. When will we learn that 50% pass rate might not be the student's fault? Great suggestions on how to move forward with an education revolution, whether the schools get on board or not. Large employers will take over educating the next generation if the current system does not supply the tech workers necessary for the modern work force. The current education system is holding on by a thread. Is it too big to fail? Will we see bailouts Schools in the United States are failing students - literally. When will we learn that 50% pass rate might not be the student's fault? Great suggestions on how to move forward with an education revolution, whether the schools get on board or not. Large employers will take over educating the next generation if the current system does not supply the tech workers necessary for the modern work force. The current education system is holding on by a thread. Is it too big to fail? Will we see bailouts like banks and automakers back in 2008/2009?

  9. 4 out of 5

    Graeme Roberts

    A remarkably lackluster book that adds nothing to knowledge or progress in education.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Corinna

    Summary Understanding Digital Natives John Couch describes the state of education today and how times have changed. He recalls his elementary years and how his teachers made learning memorable and fun, something I can recall about my own elementary years. Students were given the room to be creative and crazy but by the time he entered middle school, the craziness was expected to stop while the work began. He attributes his success in school to his ability to memorize things. He states “Even though Summary Understanding Digital Natives John Couch describes the state of education today and how times have changed. He recalls his elementary years and how his teachers made learning memorable and fun, something I can recall about my own elementary years. Students were given the room to be creative and crazy but by the time he entered middle school, the craziness was expected to stop while the work began. He attributes his success in school to his ability to memorize things. He states “Even though it was not my strength, it didn’t require too much work, and it seemed to be the way to win the game. The more I memorized, the better my grades got, and the more I was respected and appreciated by adults (Couch, 2018, Page 3)”. Even though this made couch successful in elementary, he realized that this “game” of memorization was wrong because when he got to college he was faced with a difficult realization. When his college professor asked him a deeper level question and the students were required to actually think and not memorize, everyone struggled. He realized that this was something missing in his education and he would need to learn how to think if he was going to be successful in college and in life. Later, Couch meets Steve Jobs who inspires and enlightens him with his unique ideas such as “The Mental Bicycle”. Steve Jobs explains, “How efficient would a human be if they covered that same distance riding a bicycle? That’s what the personal computer can be- a mental bicycle. It’s the most remarkable tool in all of history (Couch, 2018, Page 7).” This was the beginning of the digital age. Couch then discusses the birth of the digital native, a term coined by author Marc Prensky in 2001. “It (The Digital Native) describes those in the first generation to grow up in a digital world of personal computers, electronic games, tablets, and eventually cell phones. Today’s high school students, for example, were born after the launch of Google and have never even known a world without the internet (Couch, 2018, Page 11).” Couch goes on to dissect the rewiring of education due to this phenomenon. Digital natives are exposed to so much technology that their brains are changing, their interests, and their ways of learning. A New Framework for Learning Couch states “As much potential as technology has to improve education, unless it’s used as a means to integrate proven methods of learning, and empower teachers to better deliver this learning, it is doomed to fail. To ensure the future of education that we want, at the scale that we want, technology and learning must be integrated (Couch, 2018, Page 14).” Couch then goes on to express the need for rewiring or providing an education that fosters innovation and creativity, not memorization but learning to think. In addition to rewiring, Couch urges teachers to design individualized learning in order to meet the needs of their students. Couch warns teachers to be aware of their own cognitive bias and confirmation bias in order to unlock students’ true potential. He stresses the importance of reaching students’ hearts first and holding layered expectations relative to their needs, reminding educators not to underestimate a student’s potential and to explore different ways of teaching so they can learn. New Ways of Learning and Teaching Couch then discusses new ways of learning and teaching. One main goal is to find out what motivates students and use that sweet spot to unlock their true potential. “I believe a primary goal of both educators and parents should be to help kids discover their own individual sweet spots by figuring out what they’re good at and what they want to learn, and then tying it in with the things they need to learn (Couch, 2018, Page 44).” Furthermore, Couch explains both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and the art of motivating students through student choice and not being afraid to think “unrealistic” sometimes in order to not destroy creativity. Couch also discusses topics such as failing in order to learn from our mistakes and challenges, and having grit. Couch also mentions the various learning styles as well as teaching strategies, challenges, and myths. Future Technologies First off, Couch stresses the importance of access to technology and the training to support it. “Training and support to go with the technology, as we’ve seen, is key in making a difference. Technology, in and of itself, is not a panacea for solving problems, including those related to education (Couch, 2018, Page 120).” Couch dives into the plethora of online learning options such as Kahn Academy, MOOC’s or Massive open online courses, 3D printing, interactive books, holograms, augmented reality, mobile technology, and Apple Camps. Couch also touches on things beyond technology and building students up. “It’s not enough to tell digital natives things; we need to let them do things. Students must be able to get their hands dirty and create, discover, and build things (Couch, 2018, Page 132).” Finally, Couch calls teachers to action. “Today, we must consider if we’re willing to continue sitting back and accepting the flaws of our Pony Express-line education system, which is failing far too many of our students, when there are ways of doing things better (Couch, 2018, Page 217).” Critique of Themes and Author’s Intent Couch’s major theme of rewiring education due to the new digital age and digital natives is spot on. As a teacher, I see how students’ interests have shifted and are more technology based. His ideas and plan for rewiring education is a need that I agree with. He recognizes that our current state of education is not where it should be nor will it be unless teaches act upon these shifts and implement new ideas into their teaching. As an educator, I firmly agree that we need to find ways of motivating students in order to unleash their creativity and become innovators for the 21st century. Finally, I thoroughly agree with his suggestions for incorporating technology in order to meet the needs of students and provide personalized learning. I’ve been able to try some of the technologies that he discusses such as Kahn Academy, 3D printing, interactive books, and augmented reality. I have found these tools to be extremely engaging for my students and I look forward to exploring some more of his suggestions. I believe the author’s intent was to identify a problem in education to today, share possible causes and solutions, and call educators to do something about it. I for one, plan to be one of those teachers. Thank you for the inspiration Mr. Couch. Author’s Qualifications John Couch taught at UC Berkeley and Cal State. He spent 10 years rebuilding a K-12 School in San Diego. John was the first vice president of education at Apple and worked alongside Steve Jobs. Mr. Couch demonstrates a passion for education and expertise that shines brightly in the area of technology. It was a pleasure to read about his thoughts on education and his story of how he became passionate about transforming it for the betterment of our kids. Reference: Couch, J. D. (2018). Rewiring Education How Technology Can Make Every Student Successful. Dallas, TX: Benbella Books.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jonna Higgins-Freese

    Blah blah blah blah blah. The standardized way we educate children in the United States, based on the factory model and age-graded classrooms, leaves many kids behind. Technology could help with this. Motivation is important -- but not b/c "that's why kids can memorize words to songs" -- they can memorize words to songs b/c songs are held in a different part of memory than non-sung verbal memories. Jeez. Know your basic layperson's cognitive science. Yes, his daughter can switch her major to art Blah blah blah blah blah. The standardized way we educate children in the United States, based on the factory model and age-graded classrooms, leaves many kids behind. Technology could help with this. Motivation is important -- but not b/c "that's why kids can memorize words to songs" -- they can memorize words to songs b/c songs are held in a different part of memory than non-sung verbal memories. Jeez. Know your basic layperson's cognitive science. Yes, his daughter can switch her major to art and design (her passion) because Daddy made a pile of money at Apple and can presumably subsidize her nice house, lengthy education, and /or the social connections most necessary to becoming successful. Challenge based learning as an open/free framework for engaging students in their own learning.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Dayna Smith

    An interesting look at the way technology can be incorporated into the school classroom to better teach every child in a way that will allow them to learn in the way, and at the pace, that suits them best. Couch doesn't have all the answers, but he does understand the problem and this book at least starts the discussion. Teachers should read this book, but so should parents, students, administrators, and anyone interested in education. An interesting look at the way technology can be incorporated into the school classroom to better teach every child in a way that will allow them to learn in the way, and at the pace, that suits them best. Couch doesn't have all the answers, but he does understand the problem and this book at least starts the discussion. Teachers should read this book, but so should parents, students, administrators, and anyone interested in education.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Courtney Broderick

    Rewiring Education “If we teach today as we taught yesterday, we rob our children of tomorrow.” -John Dewey Rewiring Education: How technology can unlock every student’s potential to succeed critically examines the current system of education in America and provides detailed suggestions for making the necessary improvements for the benefit of all students. One interesting theme is that the author does not recommend throwing out the entire system and developing a brand new one. Instead, John Cou Rewiring Education “If we teach today as we taught yesterday, we rob our children of tomorrow.” -John Dewey Rewiring Education: How technology can unlock every student’s potential to succeed critically examines the current system of education in America and provides detailed suggestions for making the necessary improvements for the benefit of all students. One interesting theme is that the author does not recommend throwing out the entire system and developing a brand new one. Instead, John Couch strongly suggests “rewiring,” or editing, the current system to make it fit the needs of 21st-century learners. “What’s really needed is rewiring- upgrading our education operating system so that it better connects students, teachers, parents, and society, and so that our schools can foster creativity and innovative thinking. Only by rewiring the system can we adapt to changes as they occur, without the fear of proposed updates short-circuiting it all: moving away from passive models of education and toward active models of learning” (Couch & Towne, 2018). The structure of our current system of education is in dire need of reform. During the Industrial Revolution, economic trailblazers like Henry Ford and John D. Rockefeller worked to standardize production lines to create more efficient factories. This need drove the standardization of the education system. This meant that teachers began to teach “the exact same material in the exact same way, at the exact same speed, regardless of [students’] capabilities as individuals” (Couch & Towne, 2018). Unfortunately, this system continues to drive education today, even though our educational needs have completely changed. Mr. Couch illuminates “this highlights one of the most damaging flaws of the standardized system: it uses artificial timelines that allow the pace of the class to drive learning, rather than the pace of the individuals within” (2018). In order to educate the students of tomorrow, it is imperative that they learn to think critically, solve problems collaboratively and use technology to build, create and communicate. Our current system of education actively prevents these skills simply in the way it functions. When K-12 teachers are expected to ensure that every student in their classrooms is “at grade level” no matter their talents, preferences, strengths, weaknesses, or backgrounds, our students lose their individuality and talents that make them especially unique and valuable to our world. Another key theme throughout the book is that “every student has the potential to succeed in their own individual way. Relativity matters. Whether or not someone is ‘living up’ to his or her potential to succeed is simply a matter of point of view” (Couch & Towne, 2018). Nearly every chapter in the book discusses student potential and how teachers, administrators, and supporting technology can help students unlock their greatest talents. The author firmly believes that our current system of education is preventing student success: “it’s not that they can’t learn something, it’s just that they can’t learn it the way it’s being taught” (Couch & Towne, 2018). One suggestion to address this is to use challenge-based learning. More engaging and able to connect to more content areas than problem-based learning, the author claims that providing students with challenges to overcome will deepen their learning and help motivate them to meet their potential. Finally, in describing how technology can help to rewire our education system to increase student potential, motivation, and engagement, the author pleads with readers to integrate new technology in tandem with teacher training and support. He states, “as much potential as technology has to improve education unless it’s used as a means to integrate proven methods of learning and empower teachers to better deliver this learning, it is doomed to fail” (Couch & Towne, 2018). This point is illustrated in a comparison between the implementation plans of two California school districts; one highly successful and one great failure. John Couch was the 54th employee of Apple, hired personally by Steve Jobs. He later became the Vice President of Education at Apple. This position provided him the platform to institute change and innovation in classrooms across the United States. During this time, Mr. Couch also served as Apple’s representative to President Obama’s National Education Technology Plan and ConnectEd Initiative. Together, this team of dedicated professionals, technology leaders, teachers, administrators and policymakers worked to develop an innovative technology plan that would benefit students of all ages nationwide. Most recently, in 2017, Mr. Couch helped fund a new student learning research fellowship at Harvard University. This research will be focused on identifying methods to improve student learning and motivation. With his professional background in both technology and education, Mr. Couch is a formidable expert on the shortfalls and needs of our education system and how to best address them for the future of our students. References Couch, J.D., & Towne, J. (2018). Rewiring education: How technology can unlock every student’s potential. Dallas, TX: BenBella Books.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Penny

    John D. Couch, former teacher and more famously Apple Inc’s First Vice President of Education, has written a book that could … that should … become the blueprint for creating truly 21st Century schools, a book that puts the right kind of T in STEM. One of my beefs with some so-called STEAM programs is that the arts are tacked on, are an afterthought to a mostly science, math, and engineering curriculum. The framers of those programs simply never get to the conceptual level with the arts, so that John D. Couch, former teacher and more famously Apple Inc’s First Vice President of Education, has written a book that could … that should … become the blueprint for creating truly 21st Century schools, a book that puts the right kind of T in STEM. One of my beefs with some so-called STEAM programs is that the arts are tacked on, are an afterthought to a mostly science, math, and engineering curriculum. The framers of those programs simply never get to the conceptual level with the arts, so that students can deeply experience how artists think and create as fundamentally similar to how scientists and engineers think. I have a similar beef with some STEM programs, in which Technology is the afterthought and not integral to what kids experience in their learning. These are programs in which technology is present in the form of replacing a textbook with a similar document online, or kids enter data on a tablet based spreadsheet rather than a worksheet, or watch video lectures. Enter this 2018 publication that outlines what is possible right now to create powerful and lasting learning for digital natives, where the technology itself opens new ways of learning and creating and is compelling to today’s kids. Couch describes a new approach to education better suited to the future than the past, unlike our current system. I’ve already recommended this book to dozens of other educators. Here are three reasons why: • Couch provides guidance on how to set up appropriate differentiated learning spaces in your classroom or school to accommodate the way digital natives need to learn in order to be ready for their futures – the campfire, the watering hole, the cave, and the mountain top. I have seen the analogues of these spaces in Finnish schools, and they create and foster authentic and engaged learning for students. • Couch provides compelling examples of teachers and schools that have broken out of traditional boxes to create genuinely engaging educational experiences for today’s youth, teachers like Jodie Deinhammer, science teacher at Coppell High School just outside Dallas, whose students come up with their own essential questions. One of those questions led her students to develop Health Without Borders to successfully address the childhood malnutrition problem in their community. The stories of teachers like Jodie are both inspiring and informative and can be a roadmap for any teacher or school leader who wants to transform education in their own space. • While the first half of the book establishes the philosophical platform for why we must “rewire” education, the final half of the book provides powerful resources that will help you do that. From Challenge-Based Learning to Augmented Reality, Couch describes for non-digital native educators the nature and benefits of the technology resources now available to drive student learning. It is an excellent starting point for your own explorations, particularly the sections I just mentioned. The final chapter of the book presents a call to action … not just to teachers and school leaders, but also to members of the public. He calls for a grassroots response to the educational challenges we face, a bottom up approach that reaches out from individuals and communities to our elected representatives. His “key goals” include: • Engage a new generation of students; • Leverage existing education research; • Change the classroom learning experience; • Raise the expectations for the role of technology in education; and • Reevaluate student assessment. Couch also advocates for providing existing and prospective teachers with the professional development they need to educate the digital natives in their charge … teachers who will facilitate student learning rather than deliver content, teachers who are constructivist in their approach to teaching and learning.

  15. 5 out of 5

    ReadingMama

    The real purpose of education is to help children discover their unique potential and empower them to reach beyond their perceived limitations. Today, with technology, we can rewrite education with new opportunities for relevant, creative, collaborative and challenging learning environments. Ultimately, we must change the way we teach so students would want to learn. Make it fun, so students would engage; Providing motivity is the first step of the learning. It should no longer be about distribu The real purpose of education is to help children discover their unique potential and empower them to reach beyond their perceived limitations. Today, with technology, we can rewrite education with new opportunities for relevant, creative, collaborative and challenging learning environments. Ultimately, we must change the way we teach so students would want to learn. Make it fun, so students would engage; Providing motivity is the first step of the learning. It should no longer be about distributing content and memorizing meaningless facts. Instead, it should be about teaching kids to combine new understanding of these facts with critical and creative thinking skills that ultimately lead them to discover, understand and create new things! 20th century studying methods A: Access: many available free on-liine classes such as Khan Academy B: Build: Thomas Jefferson said “we learn by doing.” Steve Jobs said “creativity comes from observation and connectivity, which will lead to discovery!” C: Coding: Algorithmic and logistic thinking will lead to problem solving skills

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ricardo

    This book is such a rollercoaster. It excels in the psychological part of rewiring the education and explaining why, using a great mix of data and anecdotes, our current education systems are outdated. I found really enjoyable the chapters about the learning frameworks proposed for rewiring our education. CBL and ABC framework chapters have some solid foundations on why the work. You can't say the same when the author starts trying to mix how the rewire of education would work with technology. m This book is such a rollercoaster. It excels in the psychological part of rewiring the education and explaining why, using a great mix of data and anecdotes, our current education systems are outdated. I found really enjoyable the chapters about the learning frameworks proposed for rewiring our education. CBL and ABC framework chapters have some solid foundations on why the work. You can't say the same when the author starts trying to mix how the rewire of education would work with technology. most of his claims and points are made based on personal assumptions and imaginary scenarios. One outstanding example is the chapter related to augmented reality. the whole chapter was based on an imaginary scenario where a student can see the solar system on his cellphone against the room ceiling. He doesn't even cover how that technology would add any kind of different value than a plain simple 3d solar system consumed directly from our phones. And there are more examples like this one through the last 5-6 chapters.

  17. 5 out of 5

    P S

    I read for Couch’s insight on the Technology and Futuristic views of Education (addressed in the final chapters). Both topics are given a glossy overview of each of today’s current buzzwords AI,AR,VR,etc,etc. Each is has a brief summary of a cited case study showing how and where they’ve been of use and shown quantitative evidence of benefit. Valuable content, but far short of an “in depth rigorous dealing” or “pragmatic, ready to apply teaching advice”, and vitally missing limitations. I gather I read for Couch’s insight on the Technology and Futuristic views of Education (addressed in the final chapters). Both topics are given a glossy overview of each of today’s current buzzwords AI,AR,VR,etc,etc. Each is has a brief summary of a cited case study showing how and where they’ve been of use and shown quantitative evidence of benefit. Valuable content, but far short of an “in depth rigorous dealing” or “pragmatic, ready to apply teaching advice”, and vitally missing limitations. I gather from other reviews that Couch’s main thesis is Challenge-Based Learning, to counter Project-based and Inquiry-based studies. For me, that’s a valuable perspective worth revisiting. Based on the content I have read, I’ve given it 3 stars. I’m holding out for more coming in future editions of “Rewiring Education”.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Yunis Esa

    John Couch gives us insightful view from a respective point of view on learning. I hope that he continues in his exploration and I grateful for what has done for education. Education needs rewiring for the new technology since it will push boundaries. I am still a firm believer in discipline. This book was not interactive and if it was interactive, it would have taken more time than it did to publish it. Interactive system and VR are great, but you are speaking to privileged few that are able to John Couch gives us insightful view from a respective point of view on learning. I hope that he continues in his exploration and I grateful for what has done for education. Education needs rewiring for the new technology since it will push boundaries. I am still a firm believer in discipline. This book was not interactive and if it was interactive, it would have taken more time than it did to publish it. Interactive system and VR are great, but you are speaking to privileged few that are able to purchase such devices and hire IT professionals to make such environments feasible.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    A good read - helpful at thinking through some of the issues in our education system (especially standardized testing). Just as kids reach developmental milestones at different rates, they also reach learning milestones at different rates. There are no "standard" learners. Couch has ideas for solving some of the problems, but I don't know if this kind of overhaul is realistic . Read my full review, written for The Oklahoman. A good read - helpful at thinking through some of the issues in our education system (especially standardized testing). Just as kids reach developmental milestones at different rates, they also reach learning milestones at different rates. There are no "standard" learners. Couch has ideas for solving some of the problems, but I don't know if this kind of overhaul is realistic . Read my full review, written for The Oklahoman.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Wilson Swak

    To The Author: Thank you for bringing this into the light! It's why I chose to start homeschooling when my kids were in 3rd grade. Believe it or not we had to take some time to "Deschool". You've said things in your book that I've thought and talked about for years. How do we get every person in the world to read this book? To The Author: Thank you for bringing this into the light! It's why I chose to start homeschooling when my kids were in 3rd grade. Believe it or not we had to take some time to "Deschool". You've said things in your book that I've thought and talked about for years. How do we get every person in the world to read this book?

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ethan Coston

    Wow! This was such an insightful book into the problems with our current educational system. I recommend all educators/administrators and future educators read this book and use it to learn how to make education more interactive

  22. 4 out of 5

    JongHyeon yeo

    Great book for General people, not for programmers or technical geeks Too general contents are put on this book. It has been taken for granted by computer geeks. (Especially, Technical people who have gnu spirits)

  23. 4 out of 5

    Travis Rosenberg

    Really liked this book and the ideas mentioned. I have wanted to figure out ways to better incorporate technology into education with my kids at home and came away both inspired and with some good ideas to try.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    Lofty goals. Many things to consider as we continue to move into a more technological future.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Adrian van Eeden

    Very succinct and specific critique and recommendations which are practical and implementable. I'm buying this book for my entire digital ed department. Very succinct and specific critique and recommendations which are practical and implementable. I'm buying this book for my entire digital ed department.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Bhairav Mehta

    Would have been a bit better if there was more focus on everyone's progress in education, maybe not just Apple's. Good insights though. Would have been a bit better if there was more focus on everyone's progress in education, maybe not just Apple's. Good insights though.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    Fascinating. Wishing we could find the innovative solutions to move away from traditional models more efficiently.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kirsika Rahuelu

    It made me look at education and teaching in a whole new perspective. I use to be somewhat against technology in my classrooms, but now more and more I try to include it.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Little House

    I really enjoyed this one. It really ties together a lot of the other books (about education) that I have read.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Monserrat

    Must read

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