The question, however, must still be answered. Modern education loves data and proof, however, proof and data do not always tell the complete story. We must explain how technology changes our role as teachers and how it impacts the role of students and individual learning. I will not be able to answer these on my own and will ask for your help: please add your ideas and explain how technology/computer have changed teaching and learning in your classroom.
Daniel Pink said ""We are preparing students for their future, not our past." I believe this is the place we must start. Often I hear: "We used a textbook all the time and I turned out fine." We are preparing the students for a future that no one knows what it will bring. Our students (7th graders) will retire around the year 2060? Think about that. I understand the idea that pencil and paper were fine for teaching students to function in an industrial world, but now we are facing a global "flat world" and students must be prepared to work in ways not possible 10 years ago. Books like, "Wikinomics" by Dan Tapscott and Anthony Williams, was written from Canada and England without the two authors meeting in person. In fact, they did not even finish the book, but invited anyone to edit the final chapter in a wiki online. This is very different from the traditional book. We are living in a world where individual-created content is exploding on the web. You tube, in one minute, has 24 hours of new material uploaded to its site. That happens every minute! Not to mention 2 billion videos viewed each day. Facebook, has 400 million active members--many of those are our students (that is 90 million more people then inhabit the United States). We need to prepare students for a world where communication, critical thinking, collaboration and problem solving are the key building blocks for success. They need 21st Century skills--not that content is not important, but as "Did you Know" states: where were questions asked before Google (BG)--31 billion every month. We have to prepare them to think, to engage with content and to be creative in solving problems. We need to prepare them for a world very different from out past.
So, we need to highlight how this changes our teaching and student learning. I would like to provide a few key ideas and then hope you will respond with more ideas. This is a question education must be able to answer as we move toward more technology integration in the classroom. We have to explain how technology impacts student learning.
1. It requires teachers to be risk takers--but based on sound educational principals.
2. It focuses less on content and more on process, understanding, and critical thinking about material.
3. It requires "old" skills (reading, writing,etc..) but develops new skills need for the changing world.
4. It exposes students to engaging social networking in an educational setting
5. It establishes and allows students to can create their own knowledge based on fact and content.
6. It makes learning and teaching more FUN.
These two Youtubes, might help us to think about this idea (Then and Now: Tom Woodward's Blog). I hope to hear from you, Cheers, Garth