I recently learned about a high school teacher who gave her students a very interesting assignment. She asked her students to create a list to identify ten things they believe to be absolutely true. I thought it was an interesting exercise, so I gave it a try myself. I decided to use the lens related to my work in education reform for this brainstorming activity. I could’ve easily created a list about life, politics, family, religion, business or any other category. The ten things I believe to be true in education are:
- Expectations related to student achievement are increasing around the globe.
- Funding for K-12 education is declining.
- Students increasingly perceive traditional brick and mortar school environments as boring and not relevant to their future.
- Existing school calendars do not reflect the educational needs of most students.
- Schools have been relatively slow to embrace the use of technology to fundamentally change how instructional services are delivered.
- Young people around the globe enjoy using technology tools and the Internet.
- Online delivery models have the potential to reduce education costs and increase student engagement and performance.
- Mobile technology has become more affordable and easier to use, while offering increased functionality. These devices, platforms and applications are fundamentally changing the way people around the globe communicate, entertain, collaborate and access information.
- Online learning solutions which are free of traditional time and place restrictions can enable unprecedented educational choice for students and their parents.
- The intelligent use of data has the potential improve the decisions people and organizations make every day. The effective integration of technology tools in the instructional and administrative functions of education can significantly improve access to quality data and support better decisions for students, parents and educators.
I am curious to learn about your reactions to my “ten truths” related to education. I also challenge you to create your own list, not just for work, but for any important area of your life and share it with others. What do you believe to be true? It’s a fun exercise and the results may surprise you and others.