Danny Crichton at Techcrunch makes some good points on the difficulty of getting people to engage in online education due to lack of time, motivation, and work-related payoffs:
What the world is discovering is that humans are going to be humans (a discovery we seem to make a lot in startup-landia). We failed to ensure that motivation and primacy were built-in to these new products, and in the process, failed to get adults to engage with education in the way that universities traditionally can.
Scienceblog reports on a study showing that a significant percentage of motivation is genetic: Don’t blame kids if they do not enjoy school, study suggests
A study of more than 13,000 twins from six countries found that 40 to 50 percent of the differences in children’s motivation to learn could be explained by their genetic inheritance from their parents.
Instead, genetics and nonshared environment factors had the largest effect on learning motivation, whereas the shared environment had negligible impact.
And the shared environment had only about a 3% effect. I’m not sure what this means for motivating students in the classroom, but it does make us rethink our approaches to motivation.