Alexandra Samuel

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Alexandra Samuel
Posted over 4 years ago
Are Educational Institutions responding to the challenges of teaching and learning in the 21st Century?
Echoing Michael, I would agree that the dilemma of 21st century education is fundamentally the dilemma of 21st century institutions. Look at a wide range of organizations, from the private to the public to the not-for-profit sectors, and you'll see wide variation in their ability to engage with new technology and change in the ways that social media and web 2.0 both enable and demand. Interestingly, some of the first sectors to identify the potential of new ways of engaging -- notably, government and education -- have been the most profoundly challenged in embracing these tools. Because, of course, it's not the tools that are challenging; it's the requirement to give up a significant degree of control, respond in real time, and work in a way that is genuinely (as opposed to rhetorically) collaborative. My gut feeling (based mostly on personal observation) is that part of the reason that public sector organizations (including government departments, agencies, healthcare & educational institutions) have lagged in this arena is because the kinds of people who are attracted to serving in public institutions are fairly risk-averse...which makes them tempermentally ill-suited to ushering in the kinds of disruptive change that's needed to work effectively with digital tools. But most organizations start their digital revolutions with just a few brave souls, and those folks can be find in educational institutions too. The key is to reward those who stick their necks out, try new kinds of teaching and learning strategies, and encourage them to share what they learn with others -- both their successes & failures.