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
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.