Education is not a given in everyone’s life, but it should be!  Change is needed – we have wide-spread acceptance of this fact.  98% of college/university president said that change was needed and 67% said that the change needed to be disruptive, incremental small change is not enough.

What do learners look like today? How do they behave, and what drives them? Our change needs to be based on understanding the people for whom our education systems exits.

The Changing Leaner –
– number is growing (How Many)- increase of diversity/age etc.. (Who they Are)
– expectations change: driven by technology (enhanced interaction, integrations) (What they expect)

Students expectations of education system:

  • learn from peers as much as intructors
  • career ready prior to graduation
  • Networking opportunities with alumni/employers
    Essential part of college experience should be networking with future employers, at least help in getting interview.
  • Value for money
    Value is created differently for every single student (research experience, ability to transfer credits), lecture versus experience in the field. Debt loads/Cost.  Quit being system-centric and start be learner-centric
  • real life application of learned skills
    More than likely students will graduate high school not knowing how to write a check, a resume, invest in stock market.
  • Credit for their prior experiences
  • high use of technology
  • Guidance for next steps
    Adaptability and flexibility of the institution is key!  Taking courses where they are best offered, if your institution can make recommendations based upon student learning styles.
  • Flexible institutions for non-traditional learners
    (military vets) Competency based learning model is a good fit for this!

Today’s Barriers

  • Too Difficult to navigate student support systems
  • Cost of Education and unavoidable debt
    What are you prepared to invest and what will you get out it?  Is it affordable for you?
  • Tough to see big picture across coursework and institutions
  • I don’t know where to go to get help or good feedback
  • My outside experience is not connected to classwork
  • Lack of flexibility in how i engage my courses and teachers
    Unique needs of learners should be met – all types of disabilities, Institutions should provide training for instructors on how to engage.
  • Need to address diverse backgrounds of cultures.  Empathy is key
  • Not enough counselors per student at secondary level.
  • Not every student can afford a device/connectivity problems

Positive Aspects

  • World perspective: learning experiences between cultures
  • Moved from pen to device (use the cloud)
  • After School programs/volunteer opportunities (like Baltimore intersection)  Creating student leaders, encouraging student engagement
  • Half of course grade is “Did you attain goals you set during year” – Reflection paper more critical thinking in learning.
  • In lieu of final three options, presentation – paper – project or if you have anything else (one act play)
  • Pre-course survey: knowing who is in the room. Learning with context
  • Recognition that education is about the students -> starting to be seen more an more.

Looking Ahead

  • We are learning with/from people who half-way across the world.
  • We all need to do a better job of understanding and sharing the educational experience.
  • Some don’t think it will change like it should.
  • More discussions and panels of these types of challenges/barriers.
  • All it takes is one person.
  • We are the change!
  • Teachers becoming facilitators of learning!
  • If you want to learn it you should be able to!

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