50% of students do not like school.
0% of students do not like learning.
Is it that some students just aren’t meant to learn? Or is it that schools just aren’t connecting with half the students?
Should we just dismiss that because it was a small survey (fewer than 200) of college students, or should we take a closer look at the way schools work?
The data come from a 60 minute video by Michael Wesch on The Future of Education. Here are some more gems from the video:
The reality is that practically any student could pull up any of the answers on most class tests by entering a query on his or her mobile phone. Why are we emphasizing this type of information and these types of tests?
The result is that the most meaningful student questions in class are
- Is this on the test?
- How long does this paper have to be?
- How many points is this worth
The most common classroom experience is based on the assumptions that
- Information is scarce
- Good information comes from an authority
- Authorized information is beyond questioning
But Web 2.0 shows that everyone is better than anyone; a large group working together can create information rivaling the content of experts. In fact, where we are moving is
- Ubiquitous networks
- Ubiquitous computing
- Ubiquitous information
- At unlimited speed
- About everything
- From anywhere
- On all kinds of devices
The goal of education should be to teach students to identify significance and create meaningful connections. It should enable students to understand how things relate to, contrast from, are similar to, and affect other things; and it should help students find out who they are and how they fit in.
Students only read 49% of what they are assigned, and, of what they read, they find only 26% relevant to their lives.
You improve that by giving some sense of meaning to the class beyond the grade
- constructing a larger narrative around the material, a bigger picture that is significant
- creating a learning environment that values the students themselves
- leveraging existing media and the environment, using the Web which is all around us
Ten free ideas to leverage the Web:
- Set up a class page with headlines from Google news on the topic via an RSS feed
- Offer a page (Wiki or portal) where students can comment and share videos and articles they find on class topics
- Have students responsible for posting and editing the lecture notes online from classes
- Devise an online list of topics that will be on the test and have the students write, and provide links for, the study notes
- Use a widget that enlarges a student’s picture on the class portal as he/she contributes to the class notes
- Assign topics to students or groups, and have them responsible for the content on the class website, portal, or wiki
- Maintain online discussions around relevant, interesting topics
- Develop online groups or sandboxes for research topics
- Have students prepare lectures (video or audio with slides) that can be posted online
- Create a Twitter stream that students can access, follow, and contribute to for the class.
Two other videos from Wesch, each just over 4 minutes: