I recently returned from the Educause Learning Initiatives conference in San Antonio where I gave a talk I called, “The Crisis of Significance.” I began by recounting the simple 2 question survey I gave my students 2 weeks ago:
Q: How many of you do not actually like school?
A: Over half raise their hands.
Q: How many of you do not like learning?
A: No hands.
I use this and other examples (several from “A Vision of Students Today“) to suggest that:
The most significant problem in education today is the problem of significance itself. Our students, our most important critics, are struggling to find meaning and significance in their education.
I then proposed that part of the problem has to do with a growing cultural gap between students and teachers, partially driven by new media. At the end, I offered a 3 part solution to the problem, using our World Simulation project as an example. The response was tremendous. One person commented that listening to the talk was “like being shot out of a cannon.” It was fun. And I’m looking forward to revising it and taking some of the insights I am getting through this process and applying them back into my teaching.
You can watch the full presentation at Educause Connect.