The School Cliff

Dr. Jim Lewis

Jan 15, 2013 – We saw a very interesting blog recently that really caught our attention and the headline especially — Does the “school cliff” matter more than the fiscal cliff? Washington DC based author, Daniel H. Pink posted an opinion on his blog http://www.danpink.com/2013/01/does-the-school-cliff-matter-more-than-the-fiscal-cliff to the recent Gallup Student Poll that surveyed nearly 500.00 students in grades five through 12 from more than 1,700 public schools in 37 states in 2012.  Original story/survey is here:http://thegallupblog.gallup.com/2013/01/the-school-cliff-student-engagement.html.  Brandon Busteed, Executive Director of Gallup Education also states “The drop in student engagement for each year students are in school is our monumental, collective national failure.”

Adding to the conversation, 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 at high schools, and frankly they should be.  This is a highly digital and personalized “self-enabled” generation unlike any in history.  We need to shake ourselves from the delivery from traditional “text book” to technology, from diagrams to a clean user experience for the student today. For example, some of the content held sacred in textbooks could be accessed by the student on their cell phones in the form of an interactive eLearning and assessment while eating breakfast in the morning.  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. Children also need to feel that teachers are excited about the possibility that technology can bring to motivate and challenge each individual student.  Educators must share in the excitement of “educating the dreams” of each student into meaningful and passionate pursuits. Today’s kids are already excited about technology and all things new – new beginnings, new dreams.  The technological world they have grown up in has already prepared them for much more then 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, exciting and educating students who are starving for it.

Dr. Jim Lewis, CEO, Silverback Learning Solutions


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Posted: January 15th, 2013