The slides above, which I used in a webinar I presented Monday for Simple K-12, is based on a post I wrote about a year and a half ago, entitled 15 Ways our Schools Can Prepare to be Relevant and Meaningful in 2015 and beyond.
The new presentation has evolved, of course, a fair amount since that post, and it will continue to evolve, I am sure, in an organic way. In this newer version, I made more of an emphasis on digital citizenship, added in some discussion of open computer testing, and expanded the conversation about personalized learning (via adaptive learning software) to include a discussion of recent fascination with student-centered learning analytics.
As I discuss in the webinar, this post/presentation/ongoing thinking can be seen as my response to or contribution to the work of others posing and framing the question: why school and how school should be in these fast changing times. It is in part my tentative, still and always developing response to the subtitle of Will Richardson’s new book, Why School: How Education Must Change When Learning and Information are Everywhere.
It is also, in a sense, my take on Michael Horn’s article (co-written with Clayton Christensen), Rethinking Student Motivation, in which they offer their thinking on what students “hire” education for. (For more about that, including a short dialogue I had with Michael in the comments, click here). Using Horn’s metaphor of “hiring,” I am trying to answer what schools need to do to continue to be employed by students, and what they need to do to support their students in being employed in their future.
Let me unpack just a bit the two key descriptors. By compelling, I mean learning which is engaging and attractive to students; it what they will find compelling them to want to come to school. We want students to come to school not because it is mandatory nor because we offer them some vague promise it will prepare them for their future, but because they are eager to be there and to make the most of the environment. In part, my intent is to preserve the bricks and mortar school-house, which I still think is a wonderful thing, but which is facing fast increasing competition from virtual learning environments, and so my argument for those situated in buildings is to determine what is it which will continue what brings students to school.
By relevant, I mean meaningfully and valuably preparatory for the world in which our students live today and, to the best of our ability to forecast, they will live in tomorrow. What do they need to learn and what do we need to do to ensure they do?
Readers here can access and view the webinar at this link— but not necessarily for free. If you are already a full member, you should be fine for free viewing; if you have not joined them yet, you’ll see a $17 price tag, but I think you can get a free basic membership, which then entitles you to watch a small/limited number of on-demand webinars for free.
I am seeking more opportunities to share this presentation; readers who might be interested could suggest to your school, state or regional association, for instance, that I be invited to present at your next conference or professional development day. This is a continually evolving conversation, which I think will be a little bit different each time I share it.
Below are some of the works cited in the presentation.