Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Digital Learners- Ready or Not Here They Are!

We need to shift our way of thinking from 'outside the box' to 'inside the tech-box' because technology is a students way of life. Even the most non-tech. savvy kid owns a computer or owns an MP3 player. (Note to reader- my apologies if by the time you have read this blog the term 'computer' or 'MP3' is already dated).

I think the included video really puts into perspective the major "paradigm shift" of how educators connect with and inspire their students. I can sense some educators (read- administrators and teachers!) apprehensiveness when hearing or seeing the benefits of teaching with technology tools because it puts them out of their comfort zone and/or they posit students may take of advantage (i.e. use their IPOD in a way other than how they are instructed)of it.

I respond with two points:
#1 I believe you are either green and growing or ripe and rotten.
#2 If an educator understands the underpinnings of classroom management and how to implement it effectively, then they should be able to apply their skills/techniques to a tech infused environment as well. If the educator is not good in classroom managment then tech may hinder the class slightly more than usual.

When speaking with peers on this subject of digital learners we always come back to these questions- Where does a school begin to implement change? I appreciate the research and standards the ISTE (http://www.iste.org)puts in place. I especially appreciate the standards coming from three fronts- administrators, teachers, and students. Realistically do all three components start at the same time. Who really needs to "champion the cause" in order to enable change? What about schools which limit technology in a school environment because of philosophical or religious reasons? What if the administration is on board with infusing the classroom with tech but the teachers are not. What if the teachers want more tech tools/software/hardware in the classroom but the admin. doesn't? What if both want it but the school board doesn't. What if everyone wants it but can't afford it?

At the end of the day youth of Generation Z, or "Net Generation" as they are called, are headed in one e-direction - with or with out everyone else.

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