Sunday, January 11, 2015

Teach Different to Prepare Them for Tomorrow

-I wrote the book because I really believe that the revolution in learning, that Ken Robinson and others have called for, will only come about if we open up our learning systems, and make learning a social and engaging act. 

How has education changed since you began teaching?

If you have been reading my blog posts, you have gotten to know me a little bit. So then you know that I love technology. The inclusion of technology into education has been, IMHO, the biggest change to education. I mean, before teachers getting laptops I was taking attendance on slips of paper and clipping them to my door for a hall monitor to pick up. Students were turning in rough draft on pieces of notebook papers. I was making copies on a mimeograph machine and showing movies on a reel to reel projector (and what happened when a student missed that showing?). Students left the building at the end of the school day or summer and were never heard from. Faculty mailboxes were much more packed with papers and reminders. Students actually needed folders and binders for all those handouts. In class, teachers had copious papers for each and every activity. The chalkboard only held so many students for that game or problem (What were the rest of the students doing?) And for a language teacher, not having the time/means to visit another country (even better with students!) for realia and authentic materials meant that your students were not being exposed to as much culture. Thank you technology for arriving and massively changing the way I teach. Because our students are different than 1990. And they need to be taught differently to be successful in their futures :)

Now I carry on conversations with students outside the classroom and can support them in the learning anytime, anywhere. Now I don't have to kill trees. Now students have the Latin-american culture at their fingertips and can chat with people across the globe. Now all my students can be working on that same problem that was on the chalkboard, but 30 students adding to it and collaborating together. Now students who are absent from school are never absent from the learning.

From the ways students and teachers work to the way to the way we all learn and interact together with the rest of the world, technology has and will continue to affect education in many, many positive ways. The only limits are our imagination and ideas!

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