Moving So Fast… but are we Going Forward?

I heard a presentation about the future of higher education – the crux of the speaker’s assertion was that college would cease to exist the way it did in my day — you know, the dormitories, classrooms, chalk-and-talk lectures, and hushed libraries.

I don’t doubt this, although I am sad.  Not sad to see the chalk-and-talk lectures disappear, or even classrooms, for that matter, as there are so many more effective ways to create oustanding learning outcomes.  But I am sad to see the potential future that has our youth learning from their bedrooms, or kitchen tables (likely in their parents’ homes), and missing out on the incredible social education that comes along with dormitories, finals week, and football games.

Where will they learn time management?  Teamwork?  How to find their car keys? (OK, I guess I didn’t learn that in college either… but you get the idea.)

Ironically, employers are telling us every day that these social skills are the most important things they consider when hiring new employees, and the least evident in today’s college grads.

The danger is evident that tomorrow’s college grads will be so advanced that they’ll learn in entirely new ways — but they will likely step backwards in these critical “soft” skills such as listening, verbal communication, business etiquette, time management, teamwork, etc… We may end up with corporations full of internet-savvy, knowledge-packed, socially inept employees who can’t manage themselves, let alone a staff or team.