Today I got a chance to speak with Andrew Potter, CAO of Envision, one of the nation’s leading experiential education organizations.   What most excites him (and us) about his presentation “Engagement in the Digital Age” is the chance to assist educators in advocating for experiential learning in their classrooms by backing up their practices with research.  The good news for those of us that are passionate about advocating for student engagement is that the research clearly shows that if you can drive up student engagement, you drive up learning.    One particular study he mentioned “The Nature of Learning” published in 2010 by OECD, points out that research in neuroscience shows that the human brain is wired to interact.  Deep learning requires interaction with other human beings.   That being said, our Global economy, and the huge advantages we have made in technology over just the past 10 years have completely changed the way we use technology in the classroom.  The challenge is to use the technology as a resource for deeper learning, not as an end in itself.   How are we as educators harnessing the incredible technology at our fingertips to enhance student engagement?  Andrew has some good answers and some great insights on this front, and I look forward to hearing what he as to say, and to the discussion that his research will spark among us.

Author: Sandy Keldsen, the Center for Team Learning at Boston University Questrom School of Business