Wednesday, September 9, 2009

21st Century Learner

Watch this video and then I'd love to hear your thoughts. I'm kind of torn on the issue myself and am not sure how I feel about it all.


  1. I think that in this day and time we put too much emphasis on the degree and not enough emphasis on the person. Which is why some of the hardest working people in the world, who may not be able to go to college for whatever reason, cannot get jobs, while others who sit in class for several years but don't really learn squat because they have no real focus or desire to work hard get job offers left and right because of their degrees. Not to say that all college students are this way, but as you saw on the video most of them spent their class time sending emails and facebooking. Don't get me wrong nothing wrong those activities, just seems like it would serve them better to save it for a better time. We're basically sending our children to college to prepare them for the real life, but I think the only way to prepare them is to give them hands on experience and not leave them sitting in a classroom doing much of nothing. Seems like a lot of money and time could be saved if we had more on the job training and less of a classroom setting to train. This way they would actually learn vs pass!! I've rambled enough, those are just my thoughts.

  2. I agree with what Penny said, that colleges/universities today (and probably grade schools to some extent) are definitely approaching teaching and learning in the wrong way.

    I like the quote at the start of the video which talks about modern students being disoriented as they come into a "19th century classroom." Truly, our classrooms and teaching processes are still largely formatted the same as they were 100 years ago.

    Granted, many teachers will have online discussions and even some online activities. But the majority of the teaching process (lectures, discussion groups, seminars, etc.) is still organized largely the same as it was for our grandparents or great-grandparents.

    I'm a little torn because there are parts of me that says "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" and I feel like there are many elements that aren't broken. At the same time, I see tons of students who aren't invested in their learning. A lot of the classes in their major feel (and are) irrelevant to the careers they're planning to pursue and even those that are relevant, are sometimes relevant in a more peripheral way since they don't necessarily deal with changing times.

    My own major allows for some living in the past since literature, reading, writing and other aspects of an English major are fairly standard and have been for many years. I suppose we could discuss changes in the publishing world and the way literature is taken in, but generally, a nice discussion of books works well...and can be undertaken in multiple formats.

    But for other majors, new plans need to happen. Science and technology majors are the worst affected in my opinion. I have a friend who just graduated with a Bachelor's in Computer Science and is finding that a lot of the paradigms he studied as a Freshman no longer apply or at least not in the same way they did 4 years ago.

    The world is changing quickly. The classroom needs to try and adapt itself as best it can. The trouble do we determine what the new classroom should look like?

  3. Okie, you're last question is the very reason I hesitated to write anything. I am typically don't gripe about something unless you have a better plan....well, I don't. I don't know you exactly to make our education more relevant so that it's more successful.

    Penny, I understand completely where you are coming from too. There are many days where I just want to sit and talk to and be with other teachers. Let me see, feel, touch, talk and teach and through all that, I'll figure out what I need to do.

    Not that I haven't learned a lot in my classes but sometimes I feel like if we don't immediately put to use some of those things we just discussed, will I remember them 2 or 3 years later when I have degree in hand and am looking for and starting my career?? Basically, I will go back through notes and work I've done to re-teach myself.

    And I must say too that one of the biggest reasons that many students slack off, don't pay attention in class, do Facebook, etc is because Education in America is taken for granted. Want to make something relevant? Maybe we should make all incoming freshman go to a 3rd world country where if it's at all a possibility for a certain area to have a school, ALL -young and old- will pitch in to do WHATEVER it takes to educate their children. We're fortunate here, but we are shooting ourselves in the foot by our own blessings.