Recently I was in St. Louis and visited my wife’s cousin who is a DJ for a well known rock’n’roll radio station. We met up at the radio station, so I was able to see the workings of the station behind the scenes. I quickly realized that what went on behind the microphones was not what I had previously thought. The entire station is run by computers… no CD’s, no records, no answering phones, just music previously programmed, delivered by computers. When I asked my wife’s cousin about the innovative methods his station uses, he said, “Times have changed, we need to use the technology that we have to deliver what our listeners want. We are here because of them.”
The music industry is not the only industry affected by recent sweeping changes. Many, many industries are experiencing drastic changes and education is certainly not immune to this. However, the changes in education are exciting and are allowing us to see a fire in our students that we have never seen the likes of. Instead of being “told” what to learn, students need to experience the material, the concepts, the phenomena. We are not teaching different students, we are meeting students each day who grew up in a world different than the one we grew up in. They have different needs for growth, they have different desires, and they are already developed in ways that require respect.
If I have a student in my class who has no concept of the game of baseball, I can “teach” him about the game. We can sit in class, I can teach the rules, explain the nuances of the game, and tell him what Major League Baseball is. However…what has he “experienced”? Instead, what if I take him to a game, let him walk around the field, sit in the dugout, and then watch the game, while all the while explaining to him this tremendous game? Well, I would have built an excitement within and created a fan for life.
I want to create fans for life.