In our modern society where local actions often tend to have global implications, the nature of the problems we face and the opportunities we seek have broadened considerably. This broadening of scope carries with it a corresponding increase in the complexities of these issues. It is, therefore, incumbent upon educators to teach young students how to find problems and opportunities, think through them in a formalized way, and to come up with possible courses of action.
Kickstarter is a wonderful forum where people discuss their interesting ideas, and look for funding from the public. This very democratic medium for sharing ideas and raising venture capital provides an excellent starting point for teachers endeavoring to introduce this topic to students. One activity might be to ask students to look for an interesting funding project, and report back to the class.
Link to Kickstarter HERE
Teachers should seek new knowledge and as often as possible. This commitment can extend from a few hours learning to cook crepes, to a life-long study of birds. This will inform our practice enabling us to rethink how we process new learning: choosing a topic, buying a book or searching the internet, learning from an expert, joining a club, writing down findings, and retaining and applying knowledge (in whole or in part). This understanding spotlights our expectations of student process, and production.
The internet, and changes in the complexity of problems and questions, have expanded the role of teacher as imparter of self-stored knowledge to include facilitator and mentor of self-guided student learning. Where we once had rote learning, we now include problem solving. New directions in education lead to students actually finding problems and defining probing questions themselves, and then solving them. Improving how we look for, validate, compact, sort and evaluate information will be crucial to our success as learners, students, and teachers.