On fathers day I decided to take dad out for a meal at a local eatery. My younger four year old half sister also came along, which was good as I rarely get a chance to catch up with her. From the moment she walked in I was blown away by how mature she appeared, this was compouded by the fact that the last time I saw her was probably 6 months prior. After lunch she reached into her bag and pulled out a camera, which at first I thought was a toy. It wasnt until she had taken a picture and the flash had struck my eyes that I clicked. She then changed the camera mode and took a squiz at the picture she had just taken, swiftly realsing that it needed to be deleted, sure enough she was able to do this much quicker than I would confess to. At this point I was shocked and it immmediately got me thinking about the next breed of students making their way into the education system.
As educators we are expected to be able to cater for these students when they finally move into classes, will we be able to cope? Will they instantly hate the learning experience because they are pre programed to receive information about the world electronically…..instantly? Well my answer is no, let me explain why. The fundamentals are still socially relevant in a countless ways but I know that as a whole we need to start changing our teaching practices to suit the future leaders. Yeh sure, I guess this statment isnt new, but too often teachers take the easy road and stick to the way they know works, the way they have always done it. The problem with this is that they will become their biggest enemies in the long run, eventually making themselves obsolute.
This isnt a far off pipe dream, it is a reality and its knocking at you door, so how will you respond? You can choose to run and hide (you wont last long) or you can face it head on and learn some new skills that will see you into the future. To find out more about different ways students are CHOOSING to learn you can view a list of Web 2.0 tools here that are designed to make our jobs easier. Although they take some initial set up and a steep learning curve, the benefits are well worth the effort and you will have your students eating out of the palm of your hand.
To finish off, i guess its a teachers role is to promote lifelong learning, but isnt it somewhat hypocritical to not expect the same of ourself. Its time for teachers to stop pretending to be the experts and start to practice what they preach, we wont be able to bluff our lessons forever…