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So Who Are Our Students?

eSchool news is running an article Ed 'visionaries': Schools must change written by Robert Brumfield (courtesy David Warlick blog). In it, Susan Patrick the director of educational technology for the U.S. Department of Education spoke at the fourth annual Education Visionary Conference in Washington D.C. and she continued with where she left off at The Summit.
Broomfield writes, "Susan Patrick began her talks with a now-familiar stump speech cataloging some alarming statistics: Only 68 percent of American students graduate from high school–and just 26 percent of those who go on to college make it to their sophomore year. Susan stated "We are so trapped in the memory of what school was like for us. When we were students the world outside of school looked like the world inside school. Now it does not."

If you recall at The SLJ Leadership Summit, Susan provided some data after she visited several schools across the country: "96% of students said that doing well is important in their lives, 94% want to plan to continue after high school, 84% think college is important." She also gave a very passionate speech regarding the 21st century learner and urged ALL educators to "make schools more engaging and meaningful for today's students."

Her last question I would like readers to revisit and I ask for your responses. "Do the learning environments in the schools reflect the environment in the real world?" Are we as educators, librarians and administrators doing all that we can to ensure that learning experiences reflect the real world? Is this a realistic or necessary goal? Comments are welcomed and encouraged.

More Susan Patrick links:
United Streaming Video on National Educational Plan
Toward A New Golden Age – The Blue Book Susan referred to at The Summit
The Plan

-Amy Bowllan


  1. Amy Bowllan says:


    In no way are your comments hostile…at all. If anything, they are most insightful and provide some very “do-able” solutions; provided everyone in the educational institution is “on board.” Please feel free to point us toward a school where your excellent points are being put into action. I would love to profile those pioneers.

    Best wishes,

  2. Hi Alice,

    Thank you for your comments and links to your blog. (however, Michael Lorenzen’s Information Literacy Land of Confusion blog-I couldn’t access). But your layout of the ideal Summit-“If Only” is certainly a continuing step in the direction the SLJ Virtual Summit is going. With your voice and input (as well as others), I am sure we will be able to continue to outline and further these ideas. Nothing is too idealistic when it comes to the future of education; so information gathering is crucial.

    We all…don’t always agree on the process and sometimes argue the methods. But eventually, we will all get there. Hopefully, the VSB will grow in that direction.

    I’d like to link to your blog post “If only” if that’s okay?