[Pedagogy-list] OpEd: Education is not preparing students for a fast-changing world

Zinn, John jzinn at richmond.edu
Thu Sep 27 13:44:36 EDT 2018


Karen (and all),

 

Thank you for sharing the resources and your classroom methods.  I love the idea of a “passion project”.  When students have a vested interest in the content, they are more likely to remain actively engaged.  What are some of the topics they have chosen?

 

I have also used Wordpress blogs with my students.  The greatest success occurred in my Content and Teaching Strategies course in which students collected, archived, and critiqued economics resources.  By the end of the term, the class had available to them a well-organized and vetted ‘file cabinet’ of lesson plan material that they could immediately use with their own students.

 

Since 2012, a number of my classes have used iPads to collect and analyze economic and political opinion data.  This hands-on approach to contemporary events engaged the students in a number of surprising ways.  Most importantly, it got them out of their seats, into the community, and actively engaging with our content.  Survey topics have included economic literacy, the mid-term elections, and the two most recent presidential elections.  

 

John

 

John A. Zinn, III


Director of Enrollment Management 
and Strategic Partnerships / Adjunct Professor
School of Professional & Continuing Studies
University of Richmond
28 Westhampton Way
University of Richmond, Virginia 23173
phone: 804-287-6378
fax: 804-289-8138

 

 

 

"Be a yardstick of quality.  Some people aren't used to an environment where excellence is expected."  -  Steve Jobs

 

 

 

From: <pedagogy-list-bounces at richmond.edu> on behalf of Karen Richardson <witchyrichy at gmail.com>
Reply-To: "SPCS Community of Practice: Pedagogy" <pedagogy-list at richmond.edu>
Date: Thursday, September 27, 2018 at 8:22 AM
To: "pedagogy-list at richmond.edu" <pedagogy-list at richmond.edu>
Subject: Re: [Pedagogy-list] OpEd: Education is not preparing students for a fast-changing world

 

Greetings, all: 

 

I started my School Technology course this semester discussing the concept of VUCA, a term I learned during a summer conference. I am preparing my students to teach and lead children in this world. We will discuss the Horizon Report as part of our class readings so appreciate John sharing that resource. 

 

I do not use Blackboard or Powerpoint. I have been using a Wordpress site for my course site for several semesters. I invite students in as collaborators. They post blog and comment on each other's posts and along the way are learning how to use a contemporary publishing tool including embedding images and videos. We use Google docs to share and collaborate. 

 

In an effort to help them apply their skills, I have adopted a "passion project" that requires them to choose a topic of interest related to educational technology and then use the semester to research the issue and produce an Edutopia-style article as the final product. It must include an infographic, a video and curated list of resources along with the text. For those not familiar with Edutopia, start here: https://www.edutopia.org/. This project came out of a presentation I saw by Jaime Casap, Google's education evangelist. He commented that, instead of asking students what they want to be when they grow up, we should be asking them what problem they want to solve. That is the foundational question for this project. (Click on his name to learn more about him...)

 

My course focuses on technology as its content, and we explore larger ideas around classroom transformation, professional development, and the maker movement. They get lots of opportunities to explore new technologies in facilitated ways, but I rarely provide a job aide. Letting them tinker with the tech is one way to strengthen those "learn how to learn" skills. This past week, we played with embed codes and wordpress as the simple copy and paste didn't always work. Students had found their own strategies and we shared and discussed. We'll do some engineering style challenges later in the semester that require collaboration and critical thinking skills. 

 

For other content area professors, I think it is important that you ground the students in the resources for your particular field. Who are the bloggers they should be reading? Are there tweet chats or Linked In groups they should know about and participate in? 

 

My two cents...would love to hear more about what others are doing and am always happy to share as well,

 

Best,

 

Karen Richardson

Executive Director, Virginia Society for Technology in Education

Adjunct Professor, School of Continuing and Professional Studies

 

 

 

 

On Wed, Sep 26, 2018 at 3:39 PM Zinn, John <jzinn at richmond.edu> wrote:

Thanks for sharing this interesting piece, Daniel.  

 

The article supports what I consistently hear in the community.  Business leaders and entrepreneurs cite various statistics regarding the percentage of jobs in 2030 that are yet to be created and they champion the increasingly urgent need for digital literacy.  They also question what Higher Ed institutions are doing to address the issue.  Students need to leave college, it is argued, with strong digital literacy competencies and, based on their experience, should be committed to lifelong learning.  Nearly a quarter of the way in, we are no longer preparing citizens for the 21st Century, but rather mid-century (2025-2075) careers.  That’s a sobering thought and a critical paradigm shift for educators.  


Here are a few resources:

 

2017 Digital Literacy Impact Study

An interesting place to start.  This report is attached.  

 

2018 Horizon Report

The 2018 EDUCAUSE Horizon Report is also attached as a PDF.

 

Digital Literacy in the Workplace

This new video from Deaken University briefly highlights what students should expect in the workplace.  To paraphrase the video, technology is deeply imbedded in work.  It is also increasingly important in the digital lives of our students.  How are we leveraging technology in their SPCS experience?  

 

Technology is just one piece of the puzzle.  We can’t simply say we use Blackboard and require our students to produce a Powerpoint presentation.  That is so ‘1999’.  Blackboard was founded in 1997 and a Powerpoint presentation was an eighth-grade competency for Henrico County students in the mid 1990s.  Changing the way students collaboratively collect, access, and analyze data is part of the challenge.  Our task is to help them learn how to create new information and products in innovative ways.  

 

Thoughts?

 

John

  

 

John A. Zinn, III


Director of Enrollment Management 
and Strategic Partnerships / Adjunct Professor
School of Professional & Continuing Studies
University of Richmond
28 Westhampton Way
University of Richmond, Virginia 23173
phone: 804-287-6378
fax: 804-289-8138

 

 

 

"Be a yardstick of quality.  Some people aren't used to an environment where excellence is expected."  -  Steve Jobs

 

 

 

From: <pedagogy-list-bounces at richmond.edu> on behalf of "Hocutt, Daniel" <dhocutt at richmond.edu>
Reply-To: "SPCS Community of Practice: Pedagogy" <pedagogy-list at richmond.edu>
Date: Wednesday, September 26, 2018 at 10:26 AM
To: "SPCS Community of Practice: Pedagogy" <pedagogy-list at richmond.edu>
Subject: [Pedagogy-list] OpEd: Education is not preparing students for a fast-changing world

 

This Boston Globe column, written by Ann Kirschner, university professor at the City University of New York and dean emerita of Macaulay Honors College at CUNY; and Dana Born, codirector for the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard Kennedy School of Government and professor emerita and former dean of the United States Air Force Academy, offers insight into what the authors lament is a graduation gap, an employment gap, and a skills gap in the U.S. system of education:

 

Today’s students need to prepare themselves for job descriptions yet unwritten. In the VUCA environment [“VUCA stands for ‘volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous,’ a handy shortcut used by the military to describe these uncertain times], there is no robot-proof major. Instead, students need to steer a course between “Will” and “Watson,” between the humanities and social sciences (as represented by William Shakespeare) and computational thinking and STEM fields (as represented by IBM Watson). This is not merely our wishful cheerleading for literature and history. The skills they foster — critical thinking, clear communications, empathy, and self-awareness — are what employers consistently promote as essential characteristics for job candidates.

 

But the ultimate skill is the ability to learn how to learn. The goal of continuous, lifelong learning is implicit in everything that happens in education. We need to make it explicit and intentional and respected as the most important preparation for an uncertain world. That readiness for a lifetime of learning is the “mission accomplished” of education. (emphasis added)

 

How do we in SPCS teach adult and nontraditional students the skill of learning how to learn? What frameworks, strategies, and professional development opportunities do we need to make this happen at UR? Share what you’re thinking — it’ll help shape the direction of this Community of Practice and will provide a roadmap for the rest of the school and university to follow.

 

Cheers,

Daniel


—

Daniel L. Hocutt, R’92 & G’98

Web Manager & Adjunct Professor

School of Professional & Continuing Studies

Special Programs Building 215

University of Richmond, VA 23173

o. (804) 287-6658 f. (804) 289-8138

dhocutt at richmond.edu

 

Community Coordinator,
SPCS Pedagogy Community of Practice

 

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-- 

Karen Work Richardson

Ask the questions that have no answers. Wendell Berry

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