All of us agree that the current education system is totally distracted. It is largely rooted in the Industrial Era, when its aim was to produce economically viable products – i.e., employable citizens.
The emphasis has been on feeding students static information and rewarding them for doing only what they’re told, instead of helping them develop the transferable, higher-order skills they need to become life-long learners and thrive in an uncertain future. However, the current job market demands creative thinkers, freelancers, entrepreneurs, etc.
Today’s children and students are born to learn, rather than to be taught, as John Abbott of the 21st Century Learning Initiative puts it. Accordingly, we need a completely new way of being educated. We are a generation born between the 1980s and the 2000s. We are more connected to technology than previous generations, and we believe that our relationship to technology is what makes our generation unique. And that is partially true. But, at the same time, using smartphones, high-quality and high-speed internet connections, 3G, 4G, and resources with unlimited availability, we have shorter attention span and higher expectations from the products we consume.
So, how can the creators of educational services adapt to or cater to our generation of consumers?
We want it to be:
- Short and to the point: Include key information upfront. Keep it short, and keep us focused.
- Videos, images, graphs, visual forms: Use rich media and alternative content presentation to keep our attention.
- Logical and visualized path: Present information in a logical, sequential pattern to facilitate an effective learning proccess.
- We love to play: Use instant gamification and quick fixes. Make us feel just like we are playing a game.
"Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn." - Benjamin Franklin.
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