I keep wanting to go back to thinking of the “Jetsons.”
This show was so ahead of its time!
We do not have flying cars that fold into briefcases or robots cleaning our houses (granted, I would like that), but we do have Read Write Web, which has opened doors for the development of global communication in ways we only dreamed of 20 years ago. From Skype to Facebook, from Wikispaces to Wikipedia, from podcasts to vodcasts, from smartphones to Ipads, answers to how to communicate as well as learn about and reflect on our world are simply at our fingertips. The question is whether education will take a stand in all these technological advancements from this point on.
Society drives the changes in education, so obviously if the world changes education must try to prepare our students for life and employment that has not been developed yet. Education also has the ability to reach far and above what society needs now, and education can stretch students’ minds, thoughts, and experiences to help them be the problem-solving global citizens we need for the next generation.
But how will education keep up? How will teachers learn what they need to embark on innovation ideas in the classroom to inspire future cyber citizens? We cannot relay on district inservices and devices alone for the latest and greatest ideas. Technology is forcing all of us to adapt quicker to ideas we never would have dreamed when we were students in schools. We are no longer bound by societal physical boundaries, so what will change education? Board members, unions, administration, and politicians all have their own agenda and bureacratic pressure to show the world a student can perform, but ultimately who will change a student’s understanding of this new world order? Its you and me, folks. The teachers who are in the trenches, so to speak. We see what kids are facing everyday, we see how the world and global business is evolving, and we see the disconnect between now and the future. We are in a unique position to change the minds of our students not only for their personal betterment but the betterment of our entire mankind.
Heavy statement to bear, huh? Think about it. Who else in the world has this extraordinary opportunity to connect with past, present, and future all in one daily experience that can build a challenging, invigorating, thought-provoking response to our society’s global view?
Still a lot to swallow, you say? Close your eyes. Imagine walking into your physical classroom, and/or think about the discussions you have with your students. Think about the construct of this job. We are to share with these future independent citizens how to understand, make sense of, and function in their future world (THAT WE HAVE NOT SEEN YET!). We need to paint the picture of this global community’s needs, wants, and desires.
Where to begin, you ask? One day at a time. Observe your world, comment on your blog about your world, find others who are sharing your thinking about changing your teaching to meet the needs of the next generation. From going shopping to online banking, how you learn about the news of today to checking your email or Facebook, see what is happening to you as you adapt to this technologically-advancing world. Remember you are a technological immigrant trying to learn the news ways of the techno world. Your student are not; they are born into Google, iPods, gaming, email, YouTube, Kindles, and much more. Some of them are exposed to it in their homes from little up, some have seen these ideas on TV or have watched them being used, and yet some students’ families still do not own their own computer and/or internet access. You and I are to teach them all how to be responsible, insightful citizens of this future we can only predict right now.
Now, flash forward; it is April 27, 2020. You may or may not still be teaching, but you would have impacted several hundreds students’ images of this year 2020 over your time teaching. What do you want them to remember? What do you need them to leave your class understanding and experiencing? The scientific method, Pythagorean Theory, Romeo & Juliet, and the Gulf War? They are mere facts or steps to learn, but I am talking about teaching students to do more maybe even learn to THINK for themselves so they may make wise, conscious decisions in their adult lives to only change their future for the better but affect the world.
You and I will make the difference by exposing our students to technology in a way that we are both knowledgeable yet humbly learning along with them. A teacher will become the facilitator. We don’t know it all anymore; then again, did teachers ever know it all? We as teachers have more tools to guide our students to successful learning experiences than ever before. I also think the students will have more ownership over their learning than ever before in history! Teaching will not be lecture, but rather will transform to a student-to-student, teacher-to-teacher relationship like we have never seen before. Technology will force us, teachers, to create engaging experiences and conversations. Technology will give our students a freedom to learn for themselves!
Remember these changes will not happen overnight and will not happen at the same pace for every teacher or every student. However, we as teachers need to continue to persevere and be diligent, intentional, and resilient to changes in the way we do business.
We are the world!
(Think about this song and what it means to the Net Generation today!)
Future society is depending on to envision what it will require and need to engage as global cyber citizens. You and me!
The Read/Write Web has opened doors that allow not only for business advancement, but it also allows education to no longer be viewed between four walls. Learning truly occurs in the mind and heart of the learner. We educators can only lead the technologically-borne student to the “well” of knowledge and resources, but we cannot make them “drink”/learn and change without deliberate, strategic guidance along with explaining the cautions, dangers, and reality of this cyber world.
The challenge is our job involves educating the students, parents, and community all at the same time while continually learning ourselves about these ever-changing tools, apps, and devices of this technologically-driven world we live in.
Will you participate? Can you deny how you have changed as a global citizen? Can you deny knowing and seeing the gap we currently have in education today? Can you spare another moment or lesson not telling students how technology will impact their future? You do have a choice. Every time you plan or instruct a lesson you impact the year 2020. So, the next time to see technology changing you consider how it will change your students and their world because I think some aspects of the “Jetsons” are here and are closer than your think.
I build the future. I teach. Do you?