What do you think?

I’ve been talking a lot, in the blog and with folks f2f, about the need for teachers and faculty to increase student engagement by taking advantage of all the social networking tools and allowing students to be responsible for their own learning – teachers become experts in guiding rather than shoveling content.

Well here’s something to think about. Watch this video, then tune into tomorrow’s blog for an explanation of who they are.


Leave a comment on what you think about what these NeXt Gener’s are saying.


12 thoughts on “What do you think?

  1. Well,

    First of all, I can’t hear anything on this link, but with other comments, I would assume that it works and that I have something strange going on.

    BUT, I completely agree with the need to guide students in learning rather than shoveling information into their minds. A completely different viewpoint than most students experience in post-secondary education these days.

    I don’t know if social networking can increase the educational engagement, but it should if used appropriately. A post by David Warlick mentioned two new social networking sites: http://www.tubesnow.com and www. ning.com. The tubes idea seems extremely interesting, but the ning site has inappropriate material on the very home page and would not be appropriate for the educational setting.

    I also would like to comment on how you don’t “toot your own horn” like several of the other authors in blogs that I have been reading… only talking about their accomplishments, speaking engagements, or how great they are. Thank you for that.

  2. Thanks for the visit, Rob! I’m impressed that you took the time with all the excitement going on at home. When do we get to see baby pictures? Do you have a Flickr account set up yet? 🙂

    Make sure that you’re allowing pop-ups and not blocking the sfett site – that might be the problem.

    I’ll bet the ning site is a wrong URL because David wouldn’t pass something inappropriate on – he’s an educator at heart.

    Thanks for the compliment – I never even thought about using this as an advertisement for myself … hmmmmm. Just kidding.

  3. Dr. T- So tell me why this video isn’t shown at orientation for professors at universities? I remember my first week as an instructor- I went to orientation for my health plan, retirement plan, and a basic lecture on the history of the university. I never was given instruction on ‘best teaching practices.’ Instead, when I got to my department, I was given a binder with all of the instructional materials in it. (100-slide lectures, exams, and notes). That didn’t sound exciting to me, so I knew the students would not be engaged. With focus at many universities on research, I feel the instruction on student engagement gets pushed aside. I know many classes are being taught as the video implies ‘with old-fashion techniques.’
    That is why with no previous background in the educational field, I felt strongly about taking Curriculum and Instruction classes. An instructor may be an ‘expert’ in his or her field, but without connecting to the students, as was much cried out for in this video, there is a potential for learning to decline.
    What a unique video – very well put together for collaboration online by the students- wow!
    -Julie S.

  4. Julie,

    There is a history to this approach – a long history … and you are part of the new cycle in university professors. There have been movements toward engaged learning and problem-based learning, but because disciplines other than education do not address pedagogy these approaches have not caught on.

    In addition, because information has been unavailable except to the experts, there was a need to shovel the content to some point. It’s like any system, any changes need to occur from the bottom, from the top, and from within.

    We’re in the midst of some change and you can be a huge part … show the video to your colleagues, your chair, your dean. See what they say.


  5. Anyone interesting in making a video response, Digital Faculty? Seems like we may be able to add the faculty side….time, resources, motivation, etc.

  6. What a great idea – I think it’s important to provide a visual representation of digital faculty. That’s what we’re putting together for K-12 teachers like I talked about in class.

  7. I think it would be interesting to have a two part class where the instructor would design the first part and let students design the rest of the class.

    This could be one way for students to bring their knowledge and experiences to share with the rest of the class AND the instructor. This could be one aspect of faculty development. I think fear of how things will go, lack of IT support and lack of time probably stops faculty from pursuing this.

    I agree this would be a great video to show faculty members who are stuck in the same old way of teaching. 🙂

    Monica, I would love to work with you on the digital faculty. Great idea

  8. This really got me to thinking about comments that I hear frequently by faculty in higher ed, such as “students today just don’t want to work for their grade” or “they want something for nothing, and don’t want to learn.” I don’t think this is necessarily the case when it comes to this generation, at least for the majority. I think “our” generation is simply just not reaching them.

    I really picked up on the statement by the one student that said students in this generation aren’t preparing for the same jobs that their parents were. Why should they then have to be subjected to the same pedagogical methods that their parents were?

    I mean, if we are preparing today’s students to be innovators, movers, and shakers, so to speak, why are we teaching “inside the box.” Don’t we want to foster creativity and innovation? Don’t we want to foster a desire for learning that can’t be satiated? Think about it, we are preparing a generation of individuals who someday will be asked to care for us when we are sick and old. Don’t we want this generation to be creative and innovative so that they can discover creative and innovative cures/treatments and higher quality of living for us? Why would we want to squash that?

    I would also like to work on a digital faculty video. I think it is important to show a faculty response, maybe even from both perspectives or sides (techno-adopters and techno-phobes).

  9. I tried and tried just after your post to leave this comment, but couldn’t get it to stick…so here, several weeks later, it is….
    And I write at 11:41 on Wednesday, March 14th

    Way cool. But there are always more than two sides to any story. And I’m having a deja-vu flash right now. These students sound like me in the 197….s and I, like another of your bloggers, checked out-first from the college of education and then the institution–only to return for a degree–first to the university and then, seven years later to the college of education. They, institutions, have the keys. It may have been Willard Daggett who made the analogy between college degrees and country clubs. Fewer than 25% belong to the club and it would seem, many people like it that way.

    So, I loved the visual of their frustration, but frankly, but at the very end, I wanted to give them a block of cheese to go with their whine. Just as they don’t want teachers to “blah, blah, blah…”, there is a point when even the visual can no longer support redundancy of the language. I agreed with all they said the first time: they need connections and relevance, and those they feel they can acquire through choice and technology. Intellectually, teachers know that.

    However, on further reflection, I saw the video to be a show and tell of what the students had learned about learning. Great, but did they know that? So, if higher ed is doing such a bad job, how did they get that far in their psychological understanding of what creates a true learning environment and how learning styles differ? From social networking?

    If I were evaluating the message and not the medium, I would have asked for some solutions–which I didn’t really hear or see. This was a cry for help and social awareness tool that indeed, showed both intellectual and technical savvy. But greater yet is the challenge: How can the real issue be resolved? That will take more than a podcast or a blog some other medium. That will take communication and concession and that will take open-mindedness and willingness to change or adapt on both sides.

    Respectfully submitted,

    Dea C-C

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