Thursday, February 6, 2014

Road to Self-Sufficiency is Thataway!

There is an evolution going on, an evolution of technology in the educational field. It's perhaps safe to say that we are moving from using papers and pencils to just using our own fingertips to navigate and learn. Although this change is happening almost miraculously and quickly, there is a few road bumps ahead. Of course this is bound to happen whenever change happens. According to the article Fear of technology may hold back change in education, says Lord Puttnam, the road bump isn't even the technology itself, but in fact the teachers involved in this evolution. Unfortunately due to the fears of the teacher, the evolution is being dragged out and is not happening as quickly. These changes are slowing down the progress of our evolution. However, it is not that the teachers necessarily fear change; the intimidation may just be due to fear of being replaced. 

If teachers fear that they will be replaced, I believe that this is true. Teachers will be replaced. However, this picture is not completely accurate. Teachers have to know that they will be replaced by something that will peak the interest of our students today. No one wants to hear voices anymore (i.e. being lectured at throughout the whole day). These students want to just stare at a screen and I hate to say this but learn on their own. They want to figure out how things work on their own, and that is remarkable. Not only are these students teaching themselves but also they are discovering their independence.

I have surely witnessed this happening right before my eyes. In my current work, students in the classes that I work in use IPads to learn math. As I make my way down the rows to see the efforts of each child, I notice something each and every time. Here is the cool fact, the math program that the student’s use does not give them directions at all. They have to kind of figure things out as they advance in the levels and see how things work. I had one child raise his hand and ask me for help. Since this whole program was new to me, I tried helping, but that didn't go as great as I expected. The child decided to just ignore me and went on to figure it out on his own. A part of me felt sad that I could not help, but the other part of me was extremely ecstatic that the child knew how to go on if the teacher did not know how to help. We are raising children who are self-sufficient in technology. Now, that's the evolution of education. 

While our teachers may be stumping the change from happening smoothly, there is a huge benefit here anyway, and that is teachers who fear they may not know enough and children who do know enough are both essentially learning together and the struggle is something that will be noted in history. 

Here is the article that I mentioned in the beginning, please take a look, it's very interesting!

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