Yesterday on the CFE Blog I posted an article from Inside Higher Ed that was also circulated to the McDaniel College Faculty email list. The article was talking about how Smith College is examining its traditional model of instruction and mission in light of changing demographics and student expectations.
Then I heard this story on NPR’s All Things Considered as part of their series “All Tech Considered.” You can listen to the story here (3.49 minutes). Or, you can read a transcript of the story here. It highlights, among other trends, a 13 year-old who has been hired by a school to create apps for iPads, iPhones, and other hardware.
I just recently received an iPad through the IT department and found an “app” that will allow me to show my classes works of art of art from various and world-wide museums. I hope to use that soon. So, I am learning how to use apps for the first time.
But this story struck me in light of the Inside Higher Ed story. These students – 13 years old now – will be entering college in FIVE YEARS. I am just learning about apps now. They are CREATING them.
I think the world HAS shifted. I firmly believe that the liberal arts and sciences are the way by which we need to teach reading, thinking, speaking — all the things that we need in our future society and that students will need for their future lives and careers. But I also think that we have to start thinking about new ways to deliver that curriculum to students.
They are going to be expecting it. They are not going to wait around forever for me to learn an app. It might be the one that they created.