I love and respect faculty. I am honored that I get to work with people who are the smartest and most respected experts in their field. However, for most faculty members, those fields may not include technology, communication, education, or pedagogy (and sometimes none of the above). Luckily, many colleges and universities are coming to recognize these gaps in faculty skill sets and developing centers for teaching. I am honored to have worked at several of these centers at different institutions.
I get excited when a faculty member calls me because they want to brainstorm about devising a new way to present their content. My curiosity is piqued as I explore new tools available on web 2.0 platforms. I am thrilled by the perverse lingo of the 21st century: Gamification, Flipped Classroom, and MOOCs.
The explosion of technology and communication in the 21st century has made the job of educator both more challenging for the experienced instructor who only understands the 19th century educational system he/she inherited, and more vital for the students that will live and lead in a future more connected and integrated than we can possibly imagine.
The only way any of us can hope to succeed is by empowering faculty to become lifelong learners. We must continually experiment, evaluate, and adopt (or abandon) the tools and methodologies that are most effective. We must challenge students to become not only critical thinkers, but also lifelong learners themselves. The future is uncertain, but one thing is sure, everything changes, every day.