“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” Malcolm X
Education is always evolving, growing and changing with culture and time. Technology plays a big role in how education has changed. As I have read and learned from classmates about digital citizenship, my eyes have been open to a new perspective. It seems so obvious that we want to teach students to be good people and be able to make good choices and be able to contribute positively to society once they graduate. We discussed what attributes a student graduating would embody. But when it comes to a digital citizen, we tend to scare away from what that would look like because we may not know what that means. We seem to scare students into all the dangers of the digital world instead of teaching them to be able to function in this world properly. The world and life in general can be a scary place filled with lots of challenges and obstacles. We try our best to prepare kids to be able to cope and navigate the world. We train them to be good people who make a difference in the world. It had never occurred to me that we need to be doing the same online as this is where a big chunk of time is spent. Preparing students to be good digital citizens is something that should be mandatory for all school divisions.
If educators are unaware of what it means to be a digital citizen and don’t have the motivation to find out or learn, how are students able to be successful?
I believe the term ‘digital citizen’ needs to be in our everyday language. I’ve been teaching for seven years and never heard of it. Or maybe I have heard of it but was ignorant because I was uneducated about it’s importance. The future (starting now) of our education system needs to be implementing digital citizenship. The digital world is not going to go away, therefore students need to know how to navigate it in a positive way.
One of the other points I’ve been pondering this week is what does the future of education actually look like? Can I be replaced by technology and e-learning? Will teachers loose their jobs to e-learning?
There is something to be said about human interaction. Nothing can replace a relationship and being present with students. Being known and knowing others is something that technology cannot do and I think is so important as students are having less face to face interaction time. Technology cannot give a hug, it can’t wipe away tears, it can’t come up with another strategy to teach so struggling learners can have a chance. Technology cannot give high fives and make our kiddos feel loved, valued and safe like our classrooms do. I value how students feel in my class. I have kids that come everyday with their basic needs not met. Some students may not have any positive role models in their lives or an adult to talk to. Teachers provide this interaction that many students need or otherwise wouldn’t get without school. Schools provide community and connection for kids that humans crave and need.
“We need to remind ourselves of the beauty of human connection and of nature and pull ourselves out of devices for a moment and appreciate what it is just to be human beings.” Olivia Wilde
I am seeing through a primary lens, I understand e-learning would be geared more for older students. I am curious what it could look like in a primary classrooms. When I talk with older students, they are just big kids. They still need hugs and to talk. There are so many diverse needs in todays classrooms it would take quite a robot to be able to adapt to all needs and teach in a variety of ways to address all learning styles. There seems to be information and ideas to be able to adapt to all learning styles. https://www.viewsonic.com/library/education/10-trends-elearning-future/
In my classroom I struggle to balance the use of technology. I also constantly feel like I don’t have time to teach the curriculum and need to get my students reading and writing. Talking to students about the digital world isn’t something I am ever thinking of. I always think my students are probably on technology all weekend so I want them to interact with their classmates and be present. On Fridays I always have ‘Fun Friday’ in my classroom where I put out lego, board games, craft supplies, etc. and my students know not to ask for Ipads because it’s our social time. I believe it’s so important for students to be present and play and enjoy being together. They build so many skills from these times in the classroom. I also realize I need to be open and have a balance of including the digital world more in my teaching.
Yes schools do need to change because our culture is changing. We need to keep up with how the digital world is evolving or we will have students thrown into a world with no skills how to navigate it. We need to create students who are digital citizens. But we also need to continue to teach students to be present in our world and be able to interact face to face with humans. Students need to be able to carry a conversation and interact with others to be successful in our world.
I am learning so much in this class and feel like my eyes are being open to so much. I’ve really realized how little I know. I am excited to continue to learn and share with my colleagues at work. I work in a collaborative environment and school that is very open to everything I have been learning here.
“We need technology in every classroom and in every student and teacher’s hand, because it is the pen and paper of our time, and it is the lens through which we experience much of our world.” David Warlick