Posted by Kevin Prentiss – Swift Kick
There is a huge shift going on, facilitated in no small part by emerging technologies, away from “at” and towards “with.”
As in, let’s not program “at” the students, let’s program “with” the students.
What that means for activities is a shift away from events and towards facilitation and empowerment.
Here are the trends:
1) Continued Societal Fragmentation it’s not jocks vs. geeks anymore. It’s every flavor under the sun connected and grouped by social networks. Just look at the proliferation of blogs. Music is moving away from hits and towards indie – bands with tens of thousands, not hundreds of the thousands of fans. The majority of Netflix’s profits come, not from big blockbusters, but from obscure titles found by recommendation.
2) It’s All About Me It’s the “most narcissistic generation” ever – one that expects tailored experiences and personal attention.
3) Faster Relevancy it’s 30 seconds on youtube and click through friends on myspace. An e-mail that has sat for two days is irrelevant. Mass communication is simply too slow.
4) More Diversity two year enrollment is exploding and with it all kinds of social and economic diversity. Non-traditionals? This term is going to be outdated in a hurry.
The convergence of these trends means it is harder and harder to please a big enough group with any one event to justify that event.
Get a diverse programming board and try to get them to agree on music.
There are just too many different kinds of chickens.
Perhaps the focus should be instead, on how to help the chickens find each other.
An analogous side note:
Microlending is all the rage for both poverty relief and for encouraging entrepreneurialism. One of the main reasons for this is the comparative efficiency of technology enabled micro-lending compared to big budget IMF or World Bank loans. Big budgets create bureaucracy and waste. Micro budgets facilitate pockets of highly engaged creative value creation, creating very high comparative ROI – value to investment.
In the two year arena, many schools are already stripped down to the bone with staffing and budgets are under constant pressure – more with less is the mantra. Micro-lending, micro-financing, may be a great model to pursue.
What do you think?