Is Anyone Listening? Does Anyone Care?

I wrote this post a year ago. Has anything changed?

old classroom

School 2.0 – Join the Conversation
Reading habits change in new on-line revolution – Houston Business Journal:

Younger Americans, who buy only about 4 percent of books sold, have crafted their own environment for print media — non-traditional, of course. Kids, teenagers and young adults spend hours (and hours) on the Internet writing and reading (which should be of some comfort to English teachers). Bored with old-fashioned e-mail messages, kids prefer “synchronous chat.” Through MUDs (multi-user domains), young folks have transformed the solitary activity of reading into a highly social medium….

Nevertheless, I am excited and exhilarated by today’s electronic exchanges. The medium has changed, but the skill of reading is alive and well.

Writing is still essential, even if the style is mutating to “Internet casual.” Format aside, communication remains essential to getting your message across, and words are still the core components of the message.

The next generations are as hungry for knowledge as any we’ve seen — and, with the spread of electronic media — will likely be as literate as any other. – Dr. M. Ray Perryman is president and chief executive officer of The Perryman Group and economist-in-residence at the Edwin L. Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University

It is good to see that the higher ed folks are paying attention to the changing habits of today’s student culture. I wish I could say the same for the K-12 crowd. Videos such as this are great ways to demonstrate a visual of the problems we face in the classroom today. Instead of preparing our students for the world they will face (and one we have not even seen yet), we put them in the same setting as those that we, our parents, and their parents sat in. Is this just our lazy way as teachers of saying we came, we taught, we tried? Are we not concerned that we are sending students out unprepared? Do we not understand that the world is changing so quickly that half of what a student learns their first year of college is outdated by their third year? Are we unaware that there are more students in China taking the SAT test in English than in the Untied States? Do we simply not care that the top 10% of the population in China equals the total population of the United States and the top 25% is more than the total population of North America? We are not just competing with the neighboring school districts anymore. We are (or at least should be) preparing our students to compete against the world.

Will it take fear as David Warlick contemplates:

2 Cents Worth ยป Scare Em!

Is this a legitimate avenue for affecting change? Does fear motivate people to change? Might it motivate reluctant teachers to modernize their practices?

So is it the right thing to do? Do you think it is even possible to scare teachers into this type of paradigm shift in a K-12 setting? Do you see the need for this type of change in thought and instruction?

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