After a very interesting staff meeting Wednesday night where we rated our own ICT skills and worked as a staff to map out a school based goal for the future, it has become very obvious that the new age of teaching/learning is fast approaching.
This became even more noticeable after reading and reflecting on some of the posts found at Douchys Blog (http://web.mac.com/andrewdouch/Site/Blog/Blog.html) In particular “ban the biros” where douchy talks about preparing students for their future and not the past. Personally i couldnt agree more, is the art of writing becoming outdated and uninspiring? Is their anything wrong with the societal shift towards computer based communications and the abandonment of the correct english language?
Im not against teaching students the basics (its how i was educated) but surely there comes a time when the focus must move, after all didnt we once write with quils and speak using only formal register? Im almost certain there would have been controversary when biro’s were introduced and a loosening in vocabulary was noticeable amongst the masses.
So what does this mean for the future? I feel it would be a massive contridiction on our behalf as educators if we dont accept the fact that teaching and learning are begining to undergo the biggest change since we moved from writing messages on cave walls, hahah. The critics will argue that students will lose their grammar and spelling skills but to me this is just an excuse, a way to ignore the changes which are inevitable, its alot easier to put your head in the sand.
Todays students are absorbing more and more forms of technology that have the power to change their place and view of the world. No longer are lessons bound to 4 walls and a chalkboard, there are amazing programs and tools which have the potential to engage ALL STUDENTS. I say that with capitals as I’ve seen it happen in my own classes, students who struggle with the traditional methods finding new ground using teaching tools such as podcasts and lessons ran completely online using webpages , the possibilities are endless. If your looking to read more about some of the super cool teaching tools that are starting to be used in classrooms have a read here http://web20teach.blogspot.com/
Just a thought to finish on…If our main role as teachers is to communicate our message and our audience is indeed the students, then shouldnt we be changing our teaching practices to suit our audience? This is the way they think and communicate. To some degree I dont blame kids for being bored and disengaged when teachers choose to ignore the way they truly learn and share information. Anyway the end of this post brings me to the point of my regular blog, to inform teachers of some of the different ways I have been utilising Web 2.0 tools within my classes.
Will you sink or swim?