5 ideas for responding to what kids want the nation to know about educationfrom The Innovative Educator by Lisa Nielsen


In the session the focus was clear. Educators and the former principal (YAY for administrators) who attended wanted to know how we can hear the children and show them they matter, we love them, and we want to honor their unique passions, talents, interests, and abilities.  We discussed a lot of great ideas.  Here are five ways we discussed addressing what students want from education:

  1. Rather than bubbletests, measure student progress with personal success plans.
  2. Rather than report cards and transcripts allow students to showcase their learning with an authentic ePortfolio.
  3. Rather than work that only has the teacher as the audience, empower students to do real work that matters to them and has a real audience.
  4. Rather than telling students how to meet learning goals, empower them to drive their own learning as participant Deven Black explained he does (visit this link to see how).
  5. Have conversations with students about what their talents are.  You can use the videos in this article that feature students sharing stories about their talents.

The Digital Revolution and Higher Education — from the Pew Research Center by Kim Parker, Amanda Lenhart, and Kathleen Moore
College Presidents, Public Differ on Value of Online Learning


This report is based on findings from a pair of Pew Research Center surveys conducted in spring 2011. One is a telephone survey of a nationally representative sample of 2,142 adults ages 18 and older. The other is an online survey, done in association with the Chronicle of Higher Education, among the presidents of 1,055 two-year and four-year private, public, and for-profit colleges and universities.

Here is a summary of key findings…


From DSC:
First, [perhaps it’s in the appendices, but] how many of the people out in the public who were surveyed have actually taken an online class? If so, how many classes (each) have they taken and when did they take them? From whom did they take them? My guess is that most of them have never taken a class online.

Secondly, I wonder how many people thought that the telephone was a useful instrument/communication device shortly after it was introduced? Perhaps not too many…but did you use one today? Yesterday? I bet you did. I did…several times; and I bet that the same will be true of online learning (as online learning didn’t really begin to be used until the late 90’s).

The question is not whether online learning will blow away the face-to-face classroom, it’s when this will occur…? There will be many reasons for this, but the key one will be that you are putting up a team of specialists instead of using just one person. If they are reeeeaaaalllyy good (and a rare talent), that person can do the trick for now; but their success/job will continue to be increasingly difficult to perform, as they continue to pick up new hats each year, as the students’ attention spans and expectations continue to change, as lower cost models continue to emerge, etc, etc…

As Christensen, Horn, and Johnson assert, the innovation is taking place in the online learning world, and it will eventually surpass what’s possible (if it hasn’t already) in the face-to-face classrooms.



Online expectations — from EdTechMag.com by Wylie Wong; with a special thanks going out to Mr. Michael Haan, Calvin College, for this resource
Colleges bolster network bandwidth, invest in video conferencing equipment and increase their online course offerings to meet the growing demand for distance learning.


“Students today are fully wired,” says Tim Conroy, the college’s dean of information technology. “They can get anything they want online, and they expect to have the option to either come to class or get their education online.”

Distance learning has seen huge growth over the past decade as broadband adoption has increased and technology has improved. Distance learning courses are offered through the Internet, television, video conferencing and even CD-ROMs and DVDs. But online is the most popular avenue for distance learning.


From Daniel Christian: Fasten your seatbelts! An accelerated ride through some ed-tech landscapes.

From DSC:
Immediately below is a presentation that I did for the Title II Conference at Calvin College back on August 11, 2011
It is aimed at K-12 audiences.


Daniel S. Christian presentation -- Fasten your seatbelts! An accelerated ride through some ed-tech landscapes (for a K-12 audience)


From DSC:
Immediately below is a presentation that I did today for the Calvin College Fall 2011 Conference.
It is aimed at higher education audiences.


 Daniel S. Christian presentation -- Fasten your seatbelts! An accelerated ride through some ed-tech landscapes (for a higher ed audience)


Note from DSC:

There is a great deal of overlap here, as many of the same technologies are (or will be) hitting the K-12 and higher ed spaces at the same time. However, there are some differences in the two presentations and what I stressed depended upon my audience.

Pending time, I may put some audio to accompany these presentations so that folks can hear a bit more about what I was trying to relay within these two presentations.

Tagged with:  

College students and technology — a July 2011 report from Pew Internet by Aaron Smith, Lee Rainie, Kathryn Zickuhr


College students and their gadgets

Connecting the dots to the future of technology in higher education — from Educause by Stephen diFilipo, VP and CIO at Cecil College


Technology leadership must transition to managing access rather than managing assets.

Students today, in the post-PC era, arrive on campus with learning modalities distinctly different from those of previous students. To that point, technology leadership must become fully engaged to ensure that teaching and learning have priority consideration.

One thing is certain: those technologies that will require the greatest agility and speed of adoption are yet to be developed.

It should be the daily goal of every person who has chosen to participate in the leadership of higher education to take every action possible to connect these dots, thus ensuring that the future academy will not become “dangerously irrelevant.”



From DSC:
A reflection on:

Excerpt (with emphasis from DSC):

The secret to visionary companies’ continued success was explained best what NHL great Wayne Gretzky stated: “A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.” What Apple and Facebook know and more specifically their founders/CEOs’ Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg have in common is aspirational clarity. They appear to be able to see where the puck will be and into the future of what their market will not just want, but go ga-ga over and then they deliver it. Some may refer to that as their being market makers, but what enables them to make their market is that they can anticipate what will delight their customers and members that those people don’t even know will delight them.

From DSC:
This is why futuring, taking pulse checks on current trends, being in touch with your customers’ expectations (and future customers in the case of students), and scenario building are so important these days.

With the pace of technological change continuing to pick up, a healthy organization will constantly be looking to maintain its relevancy — to innnovate, to reinvent itself.

If you are not constantly reinventing yourself — as an individual or more collectively as an organization — your chances of staying relevant and marketable will likely decrease in the future.


We need to constantly be monitoring trends


Image by Daniel Christian



A Perfect Storm in Undergraduate Education, Part I — from The Chronicle by Thomas H. Benton (Thomas H. Benton is the pen name of William Pannapacker, an associate professor of English at Hope College, in Holland, Mich. He writes about academic culture.)

From DSC:
My take on the perfect storm within higher education:

Also see (emphasis DSC):

  • Dinosaur U. — from Forbes.com by Steve Forbes, Editor-in-Chief
    The Internet is about to do to America’s universities and colleges what it’s done to media and entertainment–profoundly upend them. And improve them. To get a flavor of what’s coming take a look at Louis Lataif’s Forbes.com piece, “Universities on the Brink” (Feb. 1). Lataif, dean emeritus of Boston University School of Management and a former president of Ford Europe, bluntly calls the rapid rise in tuitions a bubble resembling those that hit housing in the last decade and Silicon Valley in the late 1990s.

    The tuition bubble is about to burst.


Educators move beyond the hype over Skype — from Digital Directions by Ian Quillen


Olivia Flick, a 3rd grader at Washington Street Elementary School in Brewer Maine,
shares facts about her state via Skype with students in South Dakota.
—Carl D. Walsh_Digital Directions

Educators are now using the videoconferencing tool to connect foreign-language students to native speakers, hold virtual field trips and host conversations with scientists and other experts

While conceding the potential for frivolous use of Skype, its advocates say the tool can be particularly valuable for connecting foreign-language students to native speakers, holding virtual field trips, and visiting with real-world subject experts while saving precious funds and preventing logistical headaches. In many cases, teachers are reporting that aspects of video communication actually make teaching and learning more effective than the comparable in-person experiences.

Also see:

Framing a Skype Learning Experience — from Langwitches blog by Silvia Tolisano

Report shows U.S. schools can’t meet technology demands of teachers, students— from The Journal by Scott Aronowitz

Few people will be surprised to learn of research that shows K-12 institutions throughout the United States have become heavily dependent on technology, and that this dependency continues to increase with each passing year. What may surprise even the most jaded among us, however, is that, given that many view this a “good” dependency with a wealth of immediate and long-term benefits for teachers, students, and staff, we’re doing an inadequate job of feeding the habit.

At the FETC 2011 show in Orlando, FL, PBS and research firm Grunwald Associates released a national research report on digital media usage among educators entitled “Deepening Commitment: Teachers Increasingly Rely on Media and Technology.” The report is based on a survey conducted in August 2010 of 1,401 preK-12 teachers from various regions and demographics throughout the United States. Its primary conclusions are:

  • Teachers are, owing to both interest and circumstance, increasing their use and knowledge of technology in the classroom; and
  • U.S. schools provide an insufficient capacity of computing devices and technology infrastructure to support teachers’ Internet-based instruction needs.

CSU students’ tuition suit now a class action — from SF Gate by Nanette Asimov, Chronicle Staff Writer

A longshot legal complaint by five students who accused California State University trustees of illegally raising tuition in 2009 is now an official class-action lawsuit on behalf of 200,000 students demanding their money back. At stake is $40 million in refunds for students at a time when CSU is facing at least a $500 million cut in state funding that could bring on layoffs, course reductions and even higher tuition. The lawsuit claims CSU illegally raised tuition for fall 2009 because students had already paid that semester’s bill.

From DSC:

  • I certainly hope that this is a longshot legal complaint — both now and forevermore. However, in our litigious society, I’m not so sure.
  • When someone is now paying the price of a house for an education, expectations greatly increase. When the employment situation is tough, will students come back to sue? Don’t get me wrong, I am not in support of this at all — and I think it would be misplaced anger. However, I can see it happening more and more unless the price can be brought back down. It’s like steam in a tea kettle, turn down the temp (i.e. price), and there is less steam (i.e. anger). But it’s not just that — reducing the price of education via innovative means will hopefully be a win-win situation for all involved.

Recent/related items:

Includes the acceleration of learning analytics and learner-generated content, knowledge application supplanting information access, digital textbooks making their move, data-intensive computing challenging IT — as well as predictions concerning faculty development (as even more courses move online), mobile learning, student expectations, open education, collaboration, social media and others.

© 2021 | Daniel Christian