The Cliff

Gallup School Cliff

The School Cliff

“[Our] research strongly suggests that the longer students stay in school, the less engaged they become.”
Brandon Busteed, Gallup Blog

It’s no secret that many high school students are bored stiff with some of the traditional, time-worn, and highly standardized offerings that we continue to use and teach to in high schools, and frankly they should be. This generation of students is a highly digital and personalized “self-enabled” group unlike any in history. We need to shake ourselves away from the delivery from traditional “text book” to technology, from diagrams to a clean user experience for the student today. For example, so much of the content held sacred in textbooks can be accessed by the student on their smartphones  through OERs while eating breakfast in the morning. The opportunity to learn, to study, to research is wide open and educators must acknowledge this and adapt their teaching strategies accordingly. Technological capability continues to dramatically outpace traditional education and we must face that fact quickly and leverage many proven but not widely adopted ways technology can improve the delivery of education. The regimen at high schools must be to find ways to include an opportunity for every child to discover and meaningfully engage with their passions, and make attending school exciting and important to them. At the very least, we cannot bore them any longer. Students also need to feel that teachers are enthusiastic about the learning possibilities that technology creates in and out of the classroom. Educators must share in the excitement of “educating the dreams” of each student into meaningful and passionate pursuits. Today’s kids are already motivated by technology and all things new – new beginnings, new dreams. The technological world they have grown up in has already prepared them for much more than we are providing them, and we must find ways to better align our curriculum and profession to embrace traditional educational challenges with technology as the new common denominator in reaching, challenging and educating students who are starving for it.

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Posted: January 9th, 2015