Convocation confirmed the need for a Teach­ing and Learning Community. It is clear that educa­tion is shifting focus out of neces­sity to a model that focuses on the learner. The theme “Empowering Innovative Learning” energized and revitalized our thinking as educators because it shifts the responsibility to include student and instructor as partners of the process rather than the traditional hierarchical teacher speaking down to student.

Dr. Saundra McGuire reminded all that student success is not limited to the few but is a skill that can be realized by all students willing to adapt and adopt a process that works. As instructors at an institu­tion like Keiser where students are the focus and not research, there is already a learner centered model of education loosely in place. Dr. McGuire gave us a name and a system for what we are already building and ideas for how to ef­fectively achieve the objectives and outcomes desired.

How exciting to know that rather than develop a nation of passive and limited learners, educators can instead inject a ‘virus’ that is incurable and self -sustaining for a lifetime of learning. If we are serious about developing critical thinking skills then we must embrace this learning model. The information age has been here and unless we can encourage and show our students how to train themselves to gather and process knowledge usefully (i.e. analyze, apply, syn­thesize, evaluate), we are simply dooming many and ourselves to stagnancy and antiquated tradi­tions.

Learning as a goal immediately transforms us and makes us con­tinuously relevant. If relevant then constantly in demand, and if in demand then growth and innova­tion is the ultimate and indisput­able result. This will set us and our students apart, creating a commu­nity that will be leading the charge into the future. Couple this brain shift with the exponential growth of technology, as Mr. Matheson so aptly pointed out, and it becomes immediately clear that integrating technology in academia is essen­tial.

Convocation reinforced and re­newed our resolve to develop a Learning model that is sustainable and that will transform our institu­tion into a community that turns out the thinkers of the future; the general consensus was that this was the most productive convo­cation because we walked away feeling empowered, excited and equipped.

TLC’ya next time!
Sandra Thiee