Saturday, May 4, 2013

That Excuse is Invalid

I went on a tour of the John Deere ISG facilities this past Thursday and noticed a drastic difference in the way we think of jobs and the reality there. The office buildings were filled with programmers, developers and testers. These are the jobs of the future we try to prepare students for today.

Collaboration stations: These individuals don't work in square cubicles with high walls in rows with no windows. This is a thing of the past. They work in no wall environments with desks and tables pushed to the edges so that collaborative tables can be in the middle.
So, why do our students sit in separated rows?

Brain vomit walls*: Every interior wall they had was covered in Wink Wall Whiteboard paint. It's a product that allows you to paint a wall whatever color you choose then use the Wink clear coat over top to make it a whiteboard surface. They also utilize the outer sides of cubicles to stick all kinds of post-its on progress through various stages.

So, why do our students use lined paper?

Minimal Mass-Audiences: There were little to no conference rooms or large meeting rooms. I counted 3-4 projectors in total on our tour. They collaborate personally not in mass consumption PowerPoints.
So, why do our students "learn" from lectures?

Comfortable: There were all kinds of chairs and conversation areas throughout the building. The tables lifted from sitting height to standing ability which you could change in a matter of seconds based on your preference. They had a break room with ping pong tables and a cafe style food area, not a lunchroom.

So, why do our students function in factories?
The excuse of preparation for "the working world" is no longer valid.