Alan November’s TEDxNYED Talk

I had the privilege of watching this talk live via Livestream on my laptop (see my post “Being There“).

Alan November is certainly a man who has been in the forefront of the movement for the use of new technology in education. In this talk he has a relaxed manner of just telling us some stories. But these stories are linked to a central idea that he promotes very well.

November says that we need to give our students a purpose for their studies (he links this idea to Dan Pink‘s ideas in his book “Drive“). They need to work on real projects that relate to things that are important to their lives and the lives of their community. In this way, he states, our students will leave a legacy from their studies.

I particularly liked the part of the talk where he discussed a student who had helped to develop communications for doctors in Boston. A University professor phoned to discuss this and November started to say just how busy he was and that it might be difficult to arrange a time. He was stopped by the Professor who said that he didn’t want to speak to him but to his student!

I feel that this has got to be the way that education goes.We need to involve students in real life problems as soon as we can and we want them to feel that they are part of the solution not just hidden away in classrooms and forgotten whilst the rest of us get on with planning (or ruining) their future.

Well done Alan, yet another great contribution to the debate.



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