Who Are Those Old People in Our Lab?

Age and technological prowess often are not synonymous, particularly in education.  Factor in the tech toys, marvels and training available at Orlando’s Full Sail University and you can imagine the dismay expressed by the student who asked, “Who are all those old people in our lab?”

It is just as easy to understand the laughter the querry evoked among the educators and professionals attending the  Apple Distinguished Educator conference. No longer were they masters of WIKIS, AVATARS, NINGS, MOODLES, MMOGS, TWEETS, BUMPS, VRE’s, and a dizzying array of professional software certifications. Continue reading

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Global Achievement Gap-Seismic Shift

The current educational buzz surrounds the success in Finland. Jaana Palojarvi, Director for International Relations of the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture credits a “culture of trust in education professionals” as being a key component. Continue reading

Global Achievement Gap-Call to Action

Minister of Education for the Kingdom of Bahrain, HE Dr. Majid bin Ali Al Nuaimi outlines what must change. Continue reading

Global Achievement Gap-Attitudes and Myths

In order to even begin the discussion a few “educational myths” need to be exposed. Continue reading

Global Achievement Gap-Understanding the Situation

Amidst the scathing indictments of our current educational system there is much that is positive. Changes are being made at local levels. In fact as Charles Leadbeater,

Roundtables and discussion groups exchange and explore perspectives

Roundtables and discussion groups exchange and explore perspectives

consultant for innovation in education in the United Kingdom suggests, “Education + Skill training + technology = Hope.”

Educators must however realize that: “Most innovation comes from collaboration. Most effective learning occurs as a result of collaboration. Our current system of education can’t deliver the necessary outcomes with the current teachers and techniques that are in place.”

Systemic transformation will only occur when new attitudes and delivery techniques are universally used to address the needs of the workplace and the motivations of what is now being described as the “Net Generation.”

The current generation of learners is very different from their teachers. They are accustomed to instant gratification. The “always on” connection has resulted in a physical re-wiring of their brains.

They use the web for extending friendships, interest driven learning, self-directed inquiry and view the Internet as a tool for self-expression.

They are constantly connected, creating and multitasking in a multimedia world everywhere except school. Young people aged 8-18 spend 7 hrs and 38 minutes a day using electronic devices. If you factor in multitasking that time increases to 13 hours.

They have less fear than their predecessors. They have less respect for authority and want coaching or mentoring not lecturing. They want and need to “make a difference.”

In order to truly transform education, educators must reframe everything to address the needs of the world and its learners.

Global Achievement Gap-Assessment

Schools at all levels around the world fail to prepare students for the workplace.

This was the clear message from business, government and education leaders of 50 nations participating in the Bahrain 2010 Global Education Conference. The global achievement gap between what industry expects and what education delivers is not caused by a lack of content but of context and practical application.

The basic problem stems from the fact that educational institutions mistakenly interpret rigor as adding more difficult coursework not demanding mastery of existing content at all levels. They are also mired in an archaic assembly line system that fails to deal with the requirements of a knowledge-based economy that is agile, pull oriented, media rich and increasingly accessible.

The result is both business and students are unhappy. Fewer jobs require a 4-year degree but more technical skill. Mobility has increased and students at all levels feel increasingly unprepared to meet the challenges of a 21st century workplace. Continue reading

Who Are You Anyway

As we each learn how to be citizen journalists maybe we should think about who we are and what our journalistic personality or motivation might me.

Here are some descriptive words to consider. Are you an:
Aggregator – Someone who collects information from other people or an Analyst who interprets what others say and do?

Perhaps you are an Activist – someone who believes in and promotes a cause or an Agitator – someone who creates and fuels controversy for some political or personal agenda.

Maybe Adviser – someone who recommends a course of action or perhaps an Observer – I ran out of words that start with “A.”

Understand who you are and your motivation then be yourself. You are your greatest asset.

Media professionals assume multiple roles either consciously or unconsciously based on what we believe others want us to be. It is far more important to embrace who we are and understand what motivates us in order to effectively sell ourselves to a discerning audience.

Creating the Brand of You