The connection between motivation and the way Wagner discusses the way students today, is that students today need a different kind of motivation than what they needed before. It seems as though adults now aren't realizing the effects that the internet and other advanced technologies are having on society as a whole. Raising a generation that has known nothing but the use of advanced technology has changed the way they read, talk, take in information, learn, and relax. The tactics that were used a few short years ago to motivate students and to get them jobs is not what is working for the latest up and coming generation.
I think that there is some truth to what Wagner suggests and points out, however, I don’t think that it’s as severe as he portrays it. I think that the needs of the upcoming generations are different and there will be shift in society because of the latest technological inventions. Teenage needs have always been unique and shifting with the tides of the latest trends. When I was a teenager, I begged for my own phone line and a tongue piercing. I would find a way to page my boyfriend so he could call me in the middle of the night to talk. I had a need to be connected with friends and validated through social actions. Are the teenage needs different, or are they manifested differently? I wonder though, if technology has caused a change on the up and coming generation, or if technology has had an influence on the adults of this time. It is the adults who are raising the kids that have a perceived bad work ethic, and it is the adults who are letting their children spend time playing video games. The kids are not who are making the choices, I think that should be some focus on the adults. A bad work ethic is a bad work ethic.
I have been to High Tech High and I have already started looking into working there. I love that they provide autonomy to teachers to teach how they want and that they have a priority on project based learning. I have had the chance to attend a class at High Tech High and interview the teacher about their lesson design and what a “normal day” is like. It seems like a great place and as far as the options out there, it is on the edge of innovation.
I have wondered recently why students spend so much time in class. One of the big eye opening changes for me what I went to college was how much spare time I had. It made me realize how outrageous it was that I spent so much time at school. It was an amazing feeling to make my own schedule each semester, and that I could make it work around a job and what worked best for me. If I wanted early morning classes I could take all early morning and be done by 10 am every day. If I needed afternoon classes I could have afternoon classes and sleep in. I had so much power over my schedule and I was mad that I wasted so much of my adolescence in high school. I was self motivated, self directed and responsible and I wish I would have had more autonomy as a teenager with parental supervision before getting to college. I see that in many students that were in my clinical practice. Why can’t a high school function a little more like college, and let students pick what classes they want to take and don’t make them take 8 hours of it every day. I believe that the more control they have of their life, the more engaged they will be. And I also believe that parents should rightfully be very involved with a student’s decision making and schedule making. If I were to make a school, or make a change to schools, that would be my first act.