Friday, February 27, 2015

Closing the Motivation Gap

Because "content itself has become a commodity", Marina Gorbis (executive director of the Institute of the Future and author of The Nature of the Future.) believes that "the challenge becomes: what makes people want to dip into those flows? What makes you motivated to dip into those information and content flows and ultimately learn?" As Tom Friedman said Marina Gorbis' "motivational divide has the self-motivation, grit and persistence to take advantage of all the free or cheap online [resources] to create, collaborate, and learn."
(Listen to Gorbis'interview: The Future of Education)
However, according to this article by Tom Vander Ark (education advocate, advisor, and author of Getting Smart) "The motivation to learn is largely a cultural issue and it's unevenly distributed, particularly in America. On one end of the spectrum Tiger moms are stressing out their cubs with the race for selective colleges. On the other end, generational poverty has cut off entire communities from the "growth mindset" that connect effort and life outcomes." Tom identifies some recommendations to provide a good start at boosting student motivation, like "thoughtful standards that encourage thinking and application, assessment systems that promote learning rather than memorizing, high agency blended learning environments where students have some control over place, pace, and path, game-based tools and strategies to boost motivation and persistence, engagement of parents and community". "Grappling with generational poverty and changing community mindsets are daunting challenges. These societal changes are a heavy lift, but these recommendations are a good place for EdLeaders to start."
In the TED presentation below Tom talks about the new online and a blended learning approach in education. When teaching is done with the right modality, kids are more responsive and keen on learning. According to Tom personal digital learning will allow us to customize the learning experience, motivate students and equalize opportunities for learning.
-- Learn about Blended Learning

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