It’s easy to forget how much time LDS teenagers spend in LDS classrooms, roughly seven hours per week. Are they learning anything? That’s a fair question, as the “classroom model” that governs teaching hasn’t changed much over the years, but students have.
Schools deal with the same challenge. Here’s a quote from Educating the Net Generation: How to Engage Students in the 21st Century, by a California high school teacher, talking about how the dated technology and approach of public schools is way behind the curve.
Not only are the curriculum and content in question, but the process by which the Net Generation is educated is also suspect. Because the Net Generation has been shaped by an environment that is information and communication rich, team-based, achievement-oriented, visually based, and instantly responsive, they often recoil from isolated, lecture-based, information-dated, responsive-deficient silos of learning comprised of outdated technologies from the mid-20th century.
The problem, as discussed at length in the book, is that students, even or especially bright ones, are often bored in school and tend to disengage with the help of their iPod, cell phone, or laptop. Small LDS classes might prevent that from happening too often in the LDS class setting, but there is still the challenge of keeping the Net Youth of Zion engaged while in the classroom. So how do we make LDS classrooms more information and communication rich, visually based and instantly responsive, rather than isolated, lecture-based, and responsive-deficient?