Classrooms for today’s student?

While considering the experience of students – modern students, digital natives – inhabiting an analogue educational system, I was asked to view this video from Michael Wesch – ‘A Vision of Students Today’.

Although it is said to summarise “important characteristics of students today – how they learn, what they need to learn, their goals, hopes, dreams” it also implies that lecture-based classroom practice is not fit for the purpose of educating these modern students.

Watch the video and see the students hold up comments about their lack of engagement, and the poor fit between their course (and by implication its delivery), and their wants and needs – what is ‘relevant’ and interesting to them.  The students shown seem to see failure originating in the educational system, which is typified by the empty and distant blackboard.

Now, look at the images below (from Twitter) of Professor Richard Feynman teaching at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), and the accompanying quotes.

See the full and informative blackboards … dynamic and interesting teacher … attentive students.  Who wouldn’t want to be in that class ?

So, do we need to update classrooms to make them more relevant to the modern student? … As the second image and quote says:  “The truth always turns out to be simpler than you thought” (@ProfFeynman).

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