Monday, October 20, 2014

E-Learners of the Future---Tip #1--Students Need a Powerful Purpose!

If we truly want to see students become effective e-learners who will in fact change the world, we need to understand that students need a powerful purpose for working in an online environment. If you were to survey students who are active in the online environment and ask them how they use their time in the online environment, what would you discover?

Credit: Jane

You would discover that students spend a majority of time in social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and of course, game playing. The idea of using the online environment effectively to plan their education future is something that is foreign to them. The question is why?
To answer this question we have to look at the purpose of their devotion to online activities. You don't have to be a psychologist to realize that the digital natives of the 21st century have a desire to feel connected to other people in ways that they are denied, living in today's world. They also want to make a difference in the world and not be relegated to contrived classroom experiments where like rats in a maze they go through their paces to reach a prize at the end but are still left with the question: "What have I done in this world that makes any difference at all??"

Students need a powerful purpose to aspire to something that is greater than themselves. The online environment is great for connecting to others and communicating with others who you think you have much in common with but beyond this, there is nothing.

 Students need to know that if they use the online environment for education that there is a powerful purpose for doing so. They need to know the full potential that the online environment has for making a difference in the world and that in this environment, there are no walls and that the opportunity to connect in meaningful ways to students around the world for powerful purposes that will have an impact on the world is real.

Students who enter the online world for the powerful purpose of using education to shape and change their world need to be "de-institutionalized" and mentored by educators who will highlight important issues, guide them in developing the necessary skills sets and inspire them to aspire to powerful purposes that are greater than themselves.These educators may be traditionally trained educators or they may be people on the cutting edge of their disciplines. Our world needs inspired young people to reject the narcissistic attitudes that the old model of education, the industrial model, nurtured in young people for decades. We need students to aspire to a higher altruistic purposes that will benefit generations to come.

So, what I can simply point out is that if you introduce students to online education but in fact put them back on the assembly line model of education, you will do them a great disservice and they will know it. Do not be surprised if they revert back to their social media sites while showing only token interest in your course "in sheep's clothing"!

Next........Tip #2

No comments: