October 25, 2012
This morning I read a very very interesting article posted through a twitter link by Dr. John Maeda, current President of RISD and all-around amazing thinker + leader (who also happens to be a computer scientist, an AIGA medal recipient, and an author on a best selling book called Laws of Simplicity …oh, and he’s under 50 and has been named, by Esquire magazine, one of the 21 most important people in the 21st century).
The article, by the Impatient Futurist in Discover magazine, was a great exploration into how teachers, particularly in higher ed, can be more effective at engaging and promoting retention amongst their students. The general consensus is that students just aren’t staying engaged with the traditional lecture format and there needs to be another way.
The new way to success (not to spoil the article…everyone who is in the business of passing on knowledge to students in a classroom setting should definitely read it) involves teaching new ideas and skills and then immediately putting those skills to use through small quizzes, practical process tasks, etc. By engaging students to process what they’ve just heard students more effectively retain the information because they become active participants in the learning process. Often technology plays a heavy role in the process and students can interact with one another and the instructor via digital means.
Hmmm….constant small quizzes, practical process tasks, interacting with an instructor and other students via digital means…that sounds oddly familiar. : )
Perhaps if distance ed can do these things well, this is something it could teach ground schools?