Engagement is not a goal, it’s an outcome of students doing meaningful work

You often hear people talk about how technology is so “engaging” for kids. But that misses the point. It’s not the technology that’s engaging, it’s the opportunity to use technology to create something that is valued by the community and by yourself. Yes, a new device can be entertaining for a while, but when the novelty value wears off, what are you left with?

Engagement is not a goal, it’s an outcome of students (or anyone) doing meaningful work. Meaningful to themselves AND to the community they are in. Meaningful because someone trusted them to do something good, and they shouldered the responsibility. This is not something you DO to kids or you GIVE kids, it’s the outcome of this cycle of experiences.

Sylvia Martinez via http://blog.genyes.org/index.php/2012/05/01/engagement-responsibility-and-trust

5 Responses to “Engagement is not a goal, it’s an outcome of students doing meaningful work”

  1. Love it! Very succinct and absolutely spot on

  2. Perfectly argued and can’t agree more

  3. It’s interesting to hear your perspective towards engagement, I agree with you. Youths have become greatly engaged with technology, only to possess the item or skills that come with it. To make use of the technology to create what has meaning and purpose is what should be considered engagement.

  4. I agree with the post. But, to be clear, we can design engaging work that will cause students to invest their attention, persistence, commitment, and find value and meaning in the work so they will learn what we want them to learn [the goal]. Phil Schlechty has been saying this for decades. Designing with technology for technologies sake will not automatically result in engagement. You have to use technology that aligns with the motives students bring to the table. To my knowledge, the Schlechty Center’s Engaging the Net Generation conference is the only workshop in America that explores this connection.

  5. “Idleness, indifference and irresponsibility are healthy responses to absurd work.”
    –Frederick Herzberg

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