A Vision of Students Today

The world that our students are entering changes constantly, and technology has everything to do with it. Watch these enormously popular videos about the students of today by educators Karl Fisch and Michael Wesch.

We are nearing the end of the first decade in a new millennium. Technology is more ubiquitous now than ants at a picnic. And, determining how to deal with technology in the classroom (used by both faculty and students) is not necessarily a picnic.

Instead of having a technology ‘tip’ per se, we’re using technology (video clips) to focus on pedagogy ideas.

In response to the video A Vision of Students’ Today (the second video below), one angry father said he was not paying $20K a year to have his daughter multitask, surf the web, or be on Facebook while in class. On the other side of the coin, folks claim that students using things like laptops, iPods, cell phones in today’s classroom are just visible signs of unengaged students who, twenty years ago, would have been looking out the window daydreaming, stealthily passing notes, or doodling in a notebook.

Albert Einstein said, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” Maybe some of our thinking about teaching and how we teach needs to be altered.

Take a look at the big picture. What could you do differently in your classroom to get students actively involved in their learning? How could you engage students in problem solving or in synthesizing course content? What can you do to help students strengthen their critical thinking skills?

Maybe how we teach is just as important as what we teach.

Video 1: Did You Know

Karl Fisch, a teacher at the Arapahoe High School in Littleton, Colorado created a PowerPoint presentation for a faculty meeting. Originally, he was asked to speak about the new technology in their school building. Instead, he chose to give the faculty a vision of where they should be heading as educators. He wanted them to understand the world that their students would be entering upon graduation and what those students would need to be successful in the 21st century.

He turned his presentation into a video clip and posted it online. Over 10 million people have seen it.

Video 2: A Vision of Students Today

Michael Wesch, a cultural anthropologist at Kansas State University, and 200 of his students, created a video to tell the world what the students thought about their education. When it was posted online in 2007, it garnered one million views in the first month. An avalanche of comments about his video pelted his blog. It became the most blogged about video in the blogosphere. Click here to view the video.

Read what Michael has to say about his experience.