It wasn’t like this in my day….
It is true, it wasn’t. The world is evolving and technology has altered every part of our lifestyle, the digital era has embodied itself everywhere. This applies as much to education as to any other sector. Look at recruitment sites like the Randstad Education webpage and you can see how the need for classroom skills has evolved beyond being a strong educator who is handy with a board rubber. Now you need to be internet savvy, up to date with new e learning practices and ideally one step ahead of the kids.
It is becoming a popular school of thought that the digital age is impacting how students learn and teaching needs to change to adapt to this. One theory is that because of the impact of smart phones, social platforms, new ways to communicate without uttering a word is leaving some children lacking in communication skills with shorter attention spans and with problems in managing large pieces of homework.
So do teachers need to change the way they work?
In essence yes. Because of budget constrictions the education sector has not been as quick to embrace the technology that now clutches our world. When children enter the classroom, the outside world is cut off; a stark contrast to the engaged social connected society that exists outside of the school house window.
Chalk boards have been replaced by white boards but still it tends to be a couple of PC’s per classroom and those are the sturdy desktops that hark back to the nineties.
Technology can be ignored by a teacher or used as an aid, suddenly students have a vast amount of knowledge at their fingertips which their educator can guide them through. They need to be shown how to embrace the overwhelming content that is theirs to discover and a strong teacher can show how they can use the smart phones, tablets, lap tops as a way to increase their learning, not just as a means to communicate.
Finally, any sensible teacher knows to use a good web checking device for plagiarism, with so much published work being easily available to opportunity to enthusiastically ‘borrow’ rather than study is more prevalent than ever. One cannot expect a teacher to know the entire of the internet so instead it is a must that they have access to a decent site where they can confirm original material if necessary.