Talk of the Nation Recap with Don Tapscott: Reforming Higher Ed to Meet Digital Age
Yesterday, Don Tapscott, Author of Macrowikinomics joined Talk of the Nation on NPR to discuss the need to reform our higher education institutions to reflect our 21st century world and meet the needs of the new digital age.
Tapscott believes this reform can only take place if professors and institutions are willing to change the pedagogy and create more interactive, collaborative environments for students.
Professors have different teaching styles and resources, but why? It seems our higher educational system is creating silos instead of helping empower the entire industry as a whole. One way of breaking these silos, Tapscott suggests, is by having a global network for higher learning.
A network made available to professors, instructors and administrators can help to establish best practices, standards and make resources available to teachers who may not have the access to research that could change the way they approach their classrooms.
Students are interacting and collaborating more online because of social media, which impacts the wiring of their brain and changes the way they are receiving information. To put it simply, students are not as comfortable passively listening to professors spout off lecture notes from a projector screen anymore, they want and demand professors engage them.
Ten years ago, students would sit in a lecture quietly and learn about current events, social cause campaigns happening in other countries and more but with social media, students can now speak to the thought leaders directly. This independent learning that is happening outside the classroom could easily threaten the current pedagogy that exists across most of the higher ed industry, if changes are not made.
Colleges and Universities now need to compete with virtual courses and online-only universities, which tend to feed students hunger to collaborate and interact with their research, and often these online-only courses are cheaper.
In the interview, Tapscott refers to a chapter in Macrowikinomics, that describes the five changes that need to be made to meet this digital revolution.
- Content exchange & teaching materials available through a global higher learning network, i.e. MIT Meta University concept.
- Teacher collaborate & discussions.
- Allow teachers to co-innovate, collaborate, create new teaching materials, create new resources through use of tools like wikis.
- Co-innovation will lead to whole new knowledge beyond current research & change way researchers approach research and courses.
- Involvement will allow Universities to be known on global network.
These changes Tapscott covers in Macrowikinomics, provide solutions to challenges professors have faced for years, access to resources. They are eager to share the best research with their students, to ensure they are challenging themselves and their classroom. With this shift in thinking, teachers would become content curators instead of creators.
To listen to the enire interview on Talk of the Nation, visit here.
Do you think our higher educational institutions are moving to a more collaborative model of teaching? If so, where have you seen the best example of collaboration in the classroom?