What did your kids do today? Was it the same as what you were doing at their age? I’ll bet it’s a whole lot different.
The reason we promote technology in education is that if our schools don’t pay attention to what’s going on in the world, we risk becoming out of date very quickly. If all we did was teach handwriting and long division, we wouldn’t be doing our kids any favours.
How would they be ready of the world? How would they find jobs that excite and inspire them if they don’t have skills or experiences that mirror what’s going on in the world?
The image below is of the Pope’s inauguration, well both recent inaugurations, 8 years apart. Notice how the folks are engaged in what’s going on. In the first image (2005), they are all facing the front, you can see 2 phones, and these phones don’t have great cameras (that flip on the right won’t be getting a good shot, guaranteed!). So only those there, and those watching official broadcasts will experience this event.
The second image was taken in 2013 (6 years after the iPhone launched in 2007 and just 3 years after iPads appeared in 2010). Thats one massive change in how people engage in major events. All ages, backgrounds and genders attended both events – not just the wealthy or tech-savvy. These changes are pervasive and are impacting large (huge!) numbers of people in the first world (and increasingly in the third world). They are sharing, tweeting, liking and commenting on the event. You didn’t need to be there (or rely on official broadcasts) to have quite a full experience of the sights and sounds from within the audience.
The way in which everyone engages with events is changing (has changed really!) – and so should education. If we try and teach our kids using methods that don’t include contemporary technology, then we are doing them a disservice – just look at how these everyday people in the image below are making use of technology. Shouldn’t the next generation of learners, learn more, do more and explore more than casual users of technology???
So if we teach our kids today as if they are living in 2005, well, first of all you can see the challenges teachers would face with getting kids interested in learning!! But more than that, we need to make sure the next generation of adults are safe, capable, creative and collaborative – using online tools. If for no other reason than it will give them skills to engage with the modern workforce.
Have a look at this data from a big survey of CEO’s in industry today (this may all change AGAIN by the time your child gets done with their schooling!).
Fastest growing jobs? There are now more and more new job titles appearing.
Ever heard of these jobs – Big data miner? Social engagement leader? Ethical hacker? Crayon Evangelist? Digital Prophet?
They exist now (and others – check here for more! ). And yes, these titles are a little….creative!! But the work these jobs point to a is real and growing need.
The next time someone tells you that they don’t ‘need’ to use technology in their classroom or a teacher suggests that technology ‘just wasn’t used this term’ in a school report, maybe, gently, show them these images (and blog post if you like!). Remind them that we can’t just do what we always did when everything is changing around us :0)
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