Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Tradition: School in the 21st Century

Educators are living in an amazing period of innovation. The way we develop content, the way we deliver instruction, the way we approach accountability, the way students learn is transforming.

One of the greatest transformations in education is knowledge is becoming a readily available commodity. If you have access to the internet and can type words in Google, you can access video tutorials, reference libraries, interactive programs and so much more! Thousands of years ago educators were the sages on the stage, the keepers of knowledge, centuries later it was the fortunate few who could afford training and books, and to this day students around the world are learning from educators who are influenced by these traditions. An image I often show in presentations that captures the persistence of tradition in education is in this blog. It is a 19th century artist's rendition of education in the year 2000. This artist is caught in his paradigm where students are passive receivers of information whether it is a classic lecturer at the front of the room or a new gizmo. My challenge to educators is to use technology in transformational practices. For example, use a cell phone microscope app to explore the parts of a plant or use a polling app to increase student participation in discussions. In a broader sense, use technology to explore new worlds, build community, and solve bigger problems :)