Consumers to Creators

We’ve all been to school.  Look at me — I’ve never left.  So, we all think we’ve got a pretty good idea of what’s supposed to happen there.

Let’s review …

One of the historical goals of schools has been to provide students with enough knowledge of ‘stuff’ and ‘skills’ to be productive citizens once they graduate.  To achieve this, students have historically been ‘consumers’ of information or content — they learned from the ‘knowledge keepers’ — our teachers.  As curriculum evolved, new courses were created, teachers learned the content and then imparted this knowledge.  Sort of the ‘sage on the stage’ kind of process.  It was pretty much a unidirectional mode of information transfer.

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In today’s world, there is still a need for a content expert who knows ‘stuff’ — a teacher who’s been to post-secondary and become a subject area or learning specialist.  This need won’t change anytime soon — teachers continue to be an absolutely critical component of student success.

But times are changing …

In today’s world the role of the teacher IS fundamentally changing.  Content is ubiquitous — we can find it just about anywhere on the internet in a virtual space accessible by a few clicks on your smartphone or a verbal question to SIRI.  Content no longer resides solely in the domain of the teacher.  In fact, students are often far better content masters than their teachers on any number of topics.

So, what does this mean for the traditional learning paradigm?

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Ever Hear the Story About …

When I decided that it was time to begin my blog, I chose a writing format that was a bit relaxed, a bit ‘informal’.  That was purposeful.  I wanted to let people know who I was as a person, my professional passions, my vision for leadership and education — all in a format that was easy to read and conversational.  Throw in a bit of humour and TADA — my blog!Great stories - Ira Glass

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My Good Luck Shoes

University Exams — even saying the words brings back anxiety — that pit in my stomach that feels like I might not keep my breakfast down.  It was one of the few times in my life where I found my nervousness getting the better of me.  I remember the anxiety, the lack of interest in eating, the inability to concentrate when I really needed to bear down and study.

puma shoes

Kinda looked like these –  but mine had more tape

On the actual exam day, I wore my favourite pair of Puma runners — to EVERY exam for good luck.  Those shoes lasted through 2 undergraduate degrees, dozens of mid-term and final exams … and lots and lots of tape holding them together.

I’m sure I’m not alone in my memory of those times studying when I just couldn’t get stuff  to stick inside my head — no matter how many times I read that #$%& paragraph.  Of course, it really didn’t help that I was tired and impatient.

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