Earlier this week, Jeff Utecht (whose self-published book “Reach” is the guide to building personal learning networks) wrote a small bit about students and their “personal streams” of information. He describes the conflict between the day-to-day lives of teenagers and the ways that they choose to access information, and contrasts it with the one-way, non-engaging modes of “information transfer” employed in schools.
His words resonate with me and they match what I see “on the ground” among the teenagers that I teach. The look in their eyes when they are forced to absorb information in the linear, dry mode that we are pressured to use in this standardization-crazy environment breaks my heart a little every time I see it.
So, what is the answer? Can we classroom teachers do more to make our “academic streams” more like their personal ones?