There have been a lot of changes in how we learn, what we learn, and where we learn over our history as a species. For hundreds of thousands of years, we learned the necessary skills to survive by hunting and gathering our food. The agricultural age changed that, having us stay in one spot. In general, most people only needed to know how to raise crops, how to work a field. Along comes the industrial age, where traditional schools were born. The powers that be saw a need to educate the masses only enough to follow directions, operate machines, and become patriotic citizens willing to go to war for God and country.
Then came the information age and the birth of computers, where people needed to know more to complete ever more complex tasks in their jobs. They needed to retrieve, comprehend, and analyze information.
But what once was is also changing… we are on the precipice of yet another new era: the conceptual age, marked by our ability to not only access, but also easily create and disseminate our own content, instantaneously and on a global scale.
This shift asks students and educators to rethink what and how we learn. The basic cognitive skills needed by previous generations are no longer enough. Students in the conceptual age must also master the higher levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, including creation, metacognition and self-actualization. This will require upgrades to our curriculum, our instructional methods need to change, we even need to update the outcomes expected of our graduates! The first step to this is by embracing a blended learning model, and choosing a system that works for your needs as an educator and those of your students.
I am honoured to have been invited to speak at the 2018 HEAD Conference (Hospitality Education and Development) happening at YIHA in Shaoxing, China. The above is a sneak peak of part of my speech, “Blended Learning: The ever changing role of the teacher”.
You can read our official announcement and view the schedule HERE, it’s going to be an exciting conference!