Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The Time for Change is Now!

"It is not so very important for a person to learn facts. For that he does not really need a college. He can learn them from books. The value of an education in a liberal arts college is not the learning of many facts but the training of the mind to think something that cannot be learned from textbooks."
--1921, on Thomas Edison's opinion that a college education is useless; quoted in Phillip Frank's book,  Einstein: His Life and Times, p. 185.

My daughter recently shared this quote with me.  She is a 7th-grade student who is quickly becoming uninterested in school. She is not challenged, she is bored and not really engaged in the process any longer.  (I think she is tired of doing graphic organizers.)   She likes to learn, she just doesn't want to spend so much time learning things that can be look up on her phone.  She wants to experiment, build, create, and solve problems.  We don't usually offer those kinds of opportunity in school. For her, the value of school is the social experience.

My question is how long will it take educators to realize that today's students are not like the students of yesterday.  They learn differently.  They want things now. They want to learn at their own pace.  They want control over their lives. They no longer want the same model of education we have been providing students for the last 100 or so years.

It's time to change things up.  We need to make schools interesting for students. We need to make school engaging for students. We need to make school a place students want to be and learning the thing students want to do while they are there.

With the influx of technology in the schools today, there is no excuse to not personalize learning for our students.  Creating a personalized learning model for every student has never been more accessible than it is right now.  The time for change is now! Today not tomorrow.

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