A morning with Marc Prensky: idea bits

We had the opportunity to chat with Marc Prensky at a Quebec convention for adult educators (AQIFGA). Here are some thoughts and comments from the morning.


“If the answer is findable on google then it’s not a good question.” Marc Prensky

The idea of embedding curriculum within student interests and relevancy –> something I try to do no matter what / who I teach.

From Marc Prensky: Evaluations allow us to conveniently rank people – where is the need to do that?

My question…
In adult Ed, by the age of 21 you can go on to university based on interest, drive, life experience. You can go into vocational programs at the age of 18 with GDT + 1 or 2 other functional pre-reqs. Why are we making learners jump through these evaluatory hoops before then?

From MP: It’s easy to criticize but there are no alternatives…

From me: (I like the notion of mature student interview and intent interview as a possible alternative… Something to look at)

From Marc Prensky: What do teachers control? : We allow time to be the decider of what we teach (for example, snow days can cut whole sections out of courses…) but really, as teachers, WE can determine what is important in our curriculum to teach.

From me + Marc Prensky: Imagine if teachers all strived to be a teacher of passion.

From Marc Prensky: “Cellophane kids” – kids who teachers look right through because they are only concerned about the curriculum and the tests, not the kids.

From me: A few adult learners were present – excellent. They expressed how they feel about the way exams work, how technology helps them learn. Important conversation to have. I suggest we consult with our students on a regular basis to make sure we are teaching them the way they deserve.

Marc is trying to find alternative ways to tell teachers to relinquish control – if you tell someone they have to give up control, who would want to? Let’s go about it differently.

From a teacher + MP: Classroom teachers will still have a lot of control, it just looks different –> let’s say this to as many people as possible. The only person a teacher will believe is another teacher. So teachers need to share these nuggets.

From Marc Prensky: School ought to be about becoming not learning. Learning can help us to become, but shouldn’t be the main point.

From Marc Prensky: When it comes to how to get students using social media in the classroom in a focused way, the first place to get practical suggestions from is the students.

From me: We need to talk to our students. We need to listen to our students. Start with what they do, not with what we do. Confronting the notion of cellophane kids.

From a student : Teachers have to understand how we deal with life so they can learn how to teach us.

From a teacher : We may think they are fooling around on YouTube but really they are learning in ways we don’t know. Or maybe they are taking a break. Or maybe they are showing us that we aren’t reaching them. Or maybe they are showing us they need more/less structure.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *