The Coming Paradigm Shifts in Education Could be Massive
Driving Questions for a 1:1 Environment
How is technology creating massive paradigm shifts in education? How do we adapt? How much do we adapt to trends in society? How much of a role do we have in shaping the future of education?
I use the word could in the title believing that things will absolutely be different, but things always seem to move at a slower pace in education. One question to ask is whether that is always a bad thing? Does education need to mirror what is happening in society? Do students need to use all the new devices to be able to compete in the brave new world? or are the varied critical skills they learn to make them more well rounded, creative, deep thinking individuals the key? For a school looking to implement a 1:1 device program we are collectively and individually asking a lot of these types of questions.
At a recent staff meeting a number of teachers on our staff brought up some really valuable and important questions regarding the role of technology in our classrooms and in our lives. Concerns around privacy, effective use of devices, the implications of technology on our teaching and on student learning and engagement spurred deeper conversations. All these things are not necessarily new questions, but what was new was a sense of urgency around the idea that education could change drastically and dramatically in the coming decade to the point where we might not recognize it.
It is becoming harder for educators to keep the outside world out. One teacher mentioned that they cannot compete with the production value of many of the lessons on the web. Our department often utilizes John Green’s Crash Course Series, the Khan Academy, iTunesU, TED Talks and recently we have been introduced to The Big History Project which is an amazing online series of videos and activities that take students virtually around the world. Where do we balance this with our own teaching environment? Are we becoming managers and collectors of pieces of lessons from around the web? Would it be more efficient for teachers to pull from a huge bank of these superlessons? Will they become more standardized? What are there dangers associated with doing this? Importantly, where does the student fit in all of this?