Facilitating the Use of Technology in the Classroom
Several experts around the world refer to current school-age children as “digital natives” since they have grown up in a wired world, as opposed to adults who have had to become accustomed to it. And it’s the truth, most kids seem to understand very well everything that is digital given that they are very young and without previous learning or training.
Things have changed dramatically due to that reality. Education is not the exception, given that the model that seems to pervade in most schools around the world is based on an old-fashioned 20th-century model; which involves what academics call age-specific grouping, contain and control, didactic instruction, prescribed knowledge, uniformed progression, fixed schedules, and standardized assessment through memorization.
Despite a century of extraordinary innovation and technologies, learning in most schools is still dominated by prescriptive, externally driven curricula, pedagogies that are over-dominated by didactic teaching approaches, passive learning, a focusing on lower level knowledge, and a lack of ‘deep’ learning. These practices generally place students as passive learners of the knowledge of others.
On the other hand, 21st Century oriented schools are designed not to ‘fill up’ students with particular kinds of existing knowledge, but to increase their ability to learn, independently and with others, everywhere and anytime, and to produce new knowledge to be shared with others.
Technology has an essential role on this. Schools committed to develop good plans to incorporate technology as an integral part in education experience an important student empowering and engagement in academic learning process. Also, it helps to develop in students the essential 21st Century skills needed for success in future careers and jobs. Some of those skills are: Collaboration, Critical thinking and innovation, Communication and Creativity.
Employers worldwide are ranking critical thinking/problem solving as the number one competency they expect to become more important for new entrants over the next five years. Nearly 60 percent of employers in United States rate critical thinking and problem solving as “very important” for high school graduates entering the workforce. Three out of four employers also predict that broad competencies like critical thinking, collaboration, and creativity will become even more important for job success in the near future.
21st Century Schools are committed to the following:
Schools that are not committed to the points mentioned above look mainly as"20th or 19th century schools" trying to support and justify their old teaching methods in a 21st century full of innovation, progress and technological advance.
Conclusion, 21st Century Schools are not the ones that exist in the present but the ones who take advantage of the resources available today to bring student's learning performance and achievement to a whole different level.
Images: jscreationzs / FreeDigitalPhotos.net