TED Conversations

Ron Burnett

President and Vice-Chancellor, Emily Carr University of Art and Design


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Are Educational Institutions responding to the challenges of teaching and learning in the 21st Century?

The Digital Age offers all sorts of opportunities for learners ranging from the formal to the informal, from the Web to the classroom and the studio. Why do educational institutions continue to rely on traditional models of learning? Why have schedules, disciplines and departments remained the same as in the 20th Century? Why has the architecture of schools changed so little? How have learners changed?


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    Mar 2 2011: As a lifetime learner, I know the digital age has changed my needs drastically in two areas.

    First the speed at which I need new information, today staying on the cutting edge means knowing what I need to know RIGHT NOW. My university programs didn't accommodated my primary need/primary gratification.

    The second area my learning needs have changed is the amount of connectivity I need to other learners. Being in a theatre of students being lectured at WITHOUT a Twitter feed or hashtag is such a uni-dimensional experience. When I can enhance my real time learning with thoughts, opinions and experiences from more then just the speaker, I retain more information and assimilate more learning.

    If Educational Institutes embraced either of these issues more readily, we'd improve the system and engage more people.

    Thanks for a brilliant topic! Cheers!

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