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Training/Faculty Development Plan Essay

1297 words - 5 pages

There has been much buzz about the evolution of Web 2.0 and about the new tech-gadgets springing up in the last few years. The modern world has been reshaped through the explosion of technologies such as smart phones, tablets, micro blogging, social networking, and so on. While this reshaping has occurred in the world at large, one institution has remained relatively untouched; ironically, the lone holdout institution is the one charged with the task of preparing our youth to compete in the modern world--education. It is critical that we rethink and remodel education to fit the reality of the world in which we now live. That is not to say that we need to throw the proverbial baby out with the bath water, or in this case the content out with the tenured staff, but rather we need to hone our technological skills as educators and instill these skills in our pupils. Serious conversations need to happen in regard to what our essential knowledge should be and we must no longer hide behind our cinder-blocks and neatly stacked textbooks circa Education 1.0. Rather, we must bring the real world into our classrooms and rethink how we can motivate students in a new Education 2.0 reform.
For a hundred years, students across the nation have shuffled into their cinder-blocked, uniformly-rowed, lack-luster classrooms and have been subjected to the whims of their well-meaning, yet perhaps profoundly misguided, instructors. Teachers taught, students were expected to absorb, regurgitate, and excel based on personal motivation, and administrators oversaw the entire enterprise. However, this is not how the practice of education actually began. "Humans have always been learning, but how we learn has changed over time. The earliest means of education were highly personal: oral histories passed from adults to children, informal or formal apprenticeships, and one-on-one tutoring have all been used" (Andersen, 2011). Andersen goes on to note that learning changed from this personalized model to an industrial model with the advent of the modern education system. She states that for a hundred years, we have operated under a system of "mass education" (Andersen, 2011), also noted as "mass production" (Kolderie, 2009) and desperately need to evolve this practice into a system of "mass customization" (Kolderie, 2009). That is, we must begin to rethink how we educate and in effect divorce ourselves from the content we have been married to for far too long. Instead, we need to begin using technology as an agent for individualizing instruction and teaching the skills that students will need in our rapidly changed world. "The academy must adapt teaching and learning practices to meet the needs of today's learners; to emphasize critical inquiry and mental flexibility, and provide students with necessary tools for those tasks; to connect learners to broad social issues through civic engagement; and to encourage them to apply their learning to solve large-scale...

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