The ability to adapt to change is essential to be succesful in the 21st century. It’s true that if you don’t roll with the changes you’ll become a victim of them. Despite what have happened in the past, the future of education will be even more ruthless to those that wish to hold tight.
Education is part of society that is caracterised by exponential growth and development, with new technologies altering the lives of millions in the blink of an eye. This asks for new approaches and different skills. It’s time for university to become a hackademia.
new approach and skills
Left-brain thinking is the analytical logical type of thought that has become the area of the knowledge worker. Right-brain thinking is creative, it sees the big picture, it speaks to our emotive side, and it will be what drives us forward. Not easy to measure, even more difficult to standardised and because of that a ‘pain in the ass’ for most university programs.
It’s now time for a whole-brain approach. The whole new mind (Daniel H. Pink) is one that takes this left-brain thinking, and couples it with the long-overlooked right-brain thinking.
It is now more important for us to turn static information and facts into stories and experiences that speak to the humans mind. To find purpose and meaning we have to cross boundaries and find links between disciplines, ideas and people. Education is at the mercy of change and disruption, so having the right abilities and mindset to adapt is crucial.
From hackatons, life hacks, growth hacking and learning labs people are finding new ways to disrupt old methodologies. The hackers approach is trial and error, constantly attacking new problems using their creative thinking and cross-disciplinary skills. They seek to make their own way rather than follow the common path. They thrive at thinking outside the box.
A hackademic is someone how knows the importance of the whole brain approach and uses it to become an agents of change. There are three factors that give rise to the hackademic:
1. Intrinsic Motivation
People don’t do their best work when their only motivation comes from external drives. We need to start looking for those activities that are driven from within. Intrinsic motivation (SRL, Ryan & Deci) comes from autonomy, mastery, and purpose. We need to be in control of ourselves, constantly improving, and working towards something bigger than ourselves. That’s part of an empowered learner.
2. Holistic Learning
Growth should never stop. To stay ahead of the pack you need to be on the forefront of new knowledge and have the ability to discover new concepts. Memorization of facts or reading a book is helpful, but it’s only the beginning. One of the most effective ways of learning is to launch yourself into complex problems and see what you can do. Conceptual understanding comes from finding the relationships and connections between different pieces of knowledge, from different disciplines, and seeing things from different perspectives. That gives you the possibility to become a frontrunner and creative force.
3. Mindfulness and Flow
There is no greater form of performance than in a state of flow. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has found that flow is perhaps the most enjoyable experience there is, and occurs when people are so totally engaged in an experience as to lose themselves in it.
By using mindfulness we can become more aware of our thoughts and improve our attention. By focusing on reaching higher levels of thought, greater forms of motivation and deeper forms of involvement, you give yourself the foresight and skills to thrive in this new technological world.
By engaging in hackademics you can future proof your career and become an empowered learner.
Sorry for my English readers, this film is in Dutch (bad sound quality but worth looking at Thieu Wesseling)