Morning Keynote: Education to Better Their World – Unleashing the Power of 21st Century Kids

Marc PrenskyColonial Future Education Foundation and InstituteAnother morning with bad wifi for the keynote, so I’m typing this offline.


The ends of education for the future should be not just improving individuals, but improving their world.Marc Prensky is most known for coining the term “digital native” and now does speaking on the future of education.Marc opened by talking about how the camp theme is more about the nostalgia but should be more about the future of camp for our kids. of the first major points that Marc made was that K-12 teachers insist on teaching students how to “take notes” because “that’s what colleges/universities want from students,” when in reality, college/university instructors indicate that they don’t want that! They want students who can think, problem solve, and do things. Clearly miscommunication between the groups. tweet above was in reference to a statement that Marc said about 15 minutes into his presentation: right along… There have been a lot of great pieces of information, nothing new, but good to have reiterated nonetheless. He’s going pretty fast, so it’s hard for me to document the big points. I am going to email him for the slide deck after the presentation – I’ll post the link in the comments once it’s available.There are 2 traditions of education

  1. Accomplishment tradition – consisting of action, relationships, and accomplishments.
  2. Academic tradition – consisting primarily of thinking.

Marc’s point is that the Accomplishment Tradition leads people to business, where the Academic Tradition goes back into the schools (educators). Marc’s desire is to put these 2 traditions back together and not be isolated based on the environment. spent a few minutes going into examples of kids who have provided real-word accomplishments. I hadn’t heard of any of these, but they’re incredibly impressive. Afterwards, Marc prempts the comments of “we do service learning, long term projects, capstones, apprenticeships, etc.” and says GREAT – but we need more”Academic education is not enough – it underestimates what today’s students can now do.” – Marc Prensky an effort to make the kids even more powerful, Marc has started putting together a website that showcases real-world problems solved by kids.


The ends of education for the future should be not just improving individuals, but improving their world.


I thought Marc did a good job getting his point across. There were a few areas that I wish it were different.

  1. He referred to all students as “kids.” Not just once, but over and over. As a corporate trainer, I have students that I teach, but they are far from “kids.” It’s clear from the presentation that he’s focused on K-12 students, but I wish there was a wider scope to the presentation.
  2. The presentation is mostly about what should be different in education – how education can/should change to improve the future population. What I thought was missing were examples for implementation and/or takeaways. Great presentation on a large scale, but little in terms of action items.
  3. Going back to #1 above, this presentation is focused on K-12 and higher education. While I feel that this is going to be an ongoing theme for the rest of the Conference, I wish that weren’t the case. Canvas has more customers than just the education field (K-12 and higher ed), but the schedule doesn’t reflect that. I’m certainly hoping I’m wrong, but only time will tell.


July 25, 2016 @ 8:43am: Marc sent me the slides from his presentation.

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