So Barbara has anotheranother great post up, writing about how her students are changing in their expectations and needs from their time in college. They are pushing against the traditional structures, asking to mix the classroom experience with online community and off campus travel, capturing all of it in their Weblogs with the voices of teachers and mentors and loved ones mixed in. I love that image…seriously love it…the reflective, interactive chronicling of learning. The getting it down, capturing the experience if for no other reason than to acknowledge it, and to help it take root. That is one of the reasons I maintain this space, to make the learning stick in my brain by articulating it in writing. It’s one thing to nod your head as you read or listen, but it’s another entirely to write it, especially for an audience.

My natural inclination is to try to envision that happening with they younger kids in my world. The kids like Barbara’s 15-year old daughter who has “propelled herself through her high school curriculum so fast…because it has been excruciatingly mind-numbing.” I’m not sure high school kids could ever have enough license to explore the meaning of their learning in the ways Barbara’s students do. But I wonder if the making of meaning that blogging their education might require would transform the experience for them, and, in the process, give educators a heck of a lot more insight as to what our students are learning. Help us make it less mind-numbing.

Barbara’s students want more:

They want what goes on in the classroom to have some bearing on their lives as well as enabling them to develop skills of critical inquiry.

What a concept. I would bet that high school students want that same thing. The question is how long will it take us to see the growing irrelevance of the traditional system of education and seriously rethink what we do in the classroom to make learning more meaningful to our students. Right now, it’s feeling like this mountain is pretty darn high…