If we genuinely want to educate our young people to think critically, and be citizens of the world, why do so many of us insist on teaching to the past, instead of to the future. As educators, if we do not consider ourselves, first and foremost as learners, perhaps we should reexamine our mindset. We are navigating the Technology/Informational Age which requires constant learning and upgrading. We become behind just by teaching the present. I realize it is hard to wrap your head around, however, being hard does not make it any less true.
There was a time when getting an education was dependent on schools. Sources of knowledge were limited, and except for the wealthy elite, students had to rely on public institutions to access it. That is no longer the case. We can access anything, anywhere, anytime, and we DO! Yet, walking into most classrooms today means walking back in time where the use of your personal electronic device should be put away so as not to distract from the teacher’s lesson plan, Think about that for just a minute. Everything you want to know can be accessed using your tablet, laptop, or phone. This device that we are never without except in the classroom.
There is not a lack of access to information anymore. Everyone has access! There is a lack of evaluating information. There is a lack of knowing how to use that to which we have access. Is taking that access away really what we should be doing? Seems a bit ironic. If schools wish to stay relevant as institutions of learning, we must realize to teach is to be in a constant state of learning, not comfort.
- Do you feel a sense of panic when the technology you use changes?
- Do you avoid integrating technology into your teaching?
- Do you fear your students know more than you do about using technology?
- Do you just fear changing?
The proof that we, as educators, have not yet joined the Information Age is any continued discussion on how to use technology in education. When we learn how to manage our classrooms having the same freedom of access as the local coffee shop during “lessons” we will know that we are where we need to be. In other words, when using technology is as routine and commonplace as opening a notebook and picking up a pencil.