The eLearning Fundi

Random reflections about eLearning in Africa

Net Geners Part II

Yesterday I put forward an introduction to Net Geners. Today, I highlight what Sword & Leggott (2007) call the Seven Principles of educating the Ne(x)t Generation.

1. Relinguish Authority

When we renounce our own exclusive status as erudite experts, placing our students in the role of teachers and ourselves in the role of students, not only do we model for them the benefits of life-long learning, but we allow them to experience firsthand what every seasoned teacher already knows: If you really want to master a subject, teach it.

2. Recast Students as Teachers, Researchers, and Producers of Knowledge

Teaching to the future demands that we imbue students with a sense of intellectual purpose, instill in them a desire to make a difference, provide them with opportunities to reach a wider audience, and furnish them with the tools to break new ground.

3. Promote Collaborative Relationships

Teaching to the future involves harnessing the collaborative impulses already at large in digital culture and directing them toward educational ends, so that “group work” shifts in our students’ perception from an eyeroll-inducing educational gimmick to a cutting-edge skill worthy of cultivation and scrutiny.

4. Cultivate Multiple Intelligences

Education for the future needs to address all of these many abilities [spatial, musical, bodily-kinesthetic, naturalistic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, linguistic, and mathematical-analytical], teaching students to be aware of and make use of their own particular gifts

5. Foster Critical Creativity

Criticism looks back; creativity looks forward; and in the meeting of the two glances, sparks fly.

6. Encourage Resilience in the Face of Change

Critically creative people regard obstacles as opportunities; they welcome challenges because the act of surmounting impediments so often leads to unanticipated insights.

7. Craft Assignments That Look Both Forward and Backwards

This double vision [to preserve, yet also to transform, the past] is the core attribute of teaching to the future.

Read full article: Sword, H., and M. Leggott. 2007. Backwards into the future: Seven principles for educating the Ne(x)t Generation. Innovate 3 (5). http://www.innovateonline.info/index.php?view=article&id=389 (accessed June 3, 2007)

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