Our kids don’t have a choice. And neither do we.

Will Richardson says:

[T]his generation of kids in our schools is the first not to have a choice about technology. Most of us grew up in a time when technology was an add on, and for many of us, we still see it as a choice, especially in education. (Just the other day I was at a meeting of about 25 school leaders and teachers to discuss how social learning tools can be infused into an inquiry based curriculum and only one person was using technology to take notes…me.) I look at my own kids and I know that technology will be a huge part of their learning lives because a) they want it to be and b) they’ll be expected to be savvy users of the devices of their day to communicate, create and collaborate (among other things.) They’re not going to be able to “opt out.”

and

We may not feel comfortable in a world filled with technology. We may not like the way it’s changing things and, even more, how fast it’s changing things. We may not like the way it pushes against much of what we’ve been doing in schools for eons. But our kids don’t have a choice. And if we’re going to fulfill our roles as teachers in our kids lives, neither do we.

3 Responses to “Our kids don’t have a choice. And neither do we.”

  1. This is such an interesting post, Scott, simply because it is even necessary!

    I struggle with the idea that teachers don’t see the value in using digital tools to make their own intellectual growth more efficient and effective mostly because digital tools and experiences have forever altered my own learning. The excitement I have for showing kids how to blog or to use RSS feeds to organize their own thinking isn’t because I love blogs and RSS feeds. It’s because I love learning, and blogs and RSS feeds make learning easy and exciting for me.

    How a profession committed to learning can completely miss the potential that digital tools hold for enhancing learning is just beyond me.

    Bill

  2. While I agree that advanced technology has a place in the classroom, I do not feel that any one resource or teaching technique can ever stand alone. As it is, many students are already relying on computers and cell phones so much at home. There needs to be a balance.

    The best teachers use a wide variety of methods to make learning meaningful. We are living in a digital age, but that does not mean that we should forget about the many valuable resources available that do not require a battery or a plug.

    So, while I am open to using digital resources, I certainly hope we don’t ever come to rely on them as the only resources. That would be a very sad day indeed.

  3. As an online teacher, I am biased toward technology as a learning tool. As I have interacted with other teachers, I found that there are very few teachers who are anti-technology as a tool. They simply have the misconception that utilizing technology eliminates other forms of learning, takes away social interactions, and makes teachers irrelevant. They envision students starring at a screen as though watching a TV show without any form of interaction. Many of these same teachers who are not willing to employ technology in an educational setting are also those who are not comfortable with it. They are afraid of looking incompetent because many of their students have a better understanding of the technology than they do. I believe, if we are to fully take advantage of the benefits technology has to offer for learning, we must first educate our teachers both on the technology itself and teaching methodologies specific to it.

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