Thursday, June 26, 2008

Disruptive Conditions

I was just catching up on some of the blogs I read when I came across David Warlick's 2 Cents Worth. He's starting a discussion on one of his upcoming NECC presentations over at the NECC Ning site. He asks:
What do you believe are the fundamental disruptive conditions that are demanding a new kind of education institution?
This question hit me and has given me a lot to think about. I always think about how to make myself a better teacher, find better ways to reach my students today. However, this question hits me and makes me realize I need to rethink my approach. Without really having thought about the underlying causes I won't be able to come to any real solutions.

So, what do I think makes learning different today? Technology. Technology underlies the way our students access the world today. I'm not going to invoke Digital Natives, because I think it is a spurious argument. However, technology is changing so fast most teachers simply don't keep up. Our students have more time to spend with the changing face of technology and so often outpace their teachers. This leads them to be unengaged

Delay and distract environment they're looking for ways to distract themselves. The consume content in small chunks. They don't value HS education they see that a HS diploma doesn't really lead to anything. Students now how to learn what they're interested in, but if they have no interest... Our faculty often has the same problem.

Another disruptive condition: We want all of our kids to go to college. Today it is getting to the point that a Bachelor's degree is not even enough. Students don't have dreams/ambition. They're in school to make friends and because their parents make them come here.

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