I may not be able to predict what comes tomorrow, but I do know what I see today. As a learner I no longer live confined to impenetrable walls – nor do I allow those walls encroach on my learners. They too have the right to open thinking spaces, to collaboration, open inquiry and experimentation.
How? As always, so much depends on the context, the appropriacy and needs of learners. The dilemma is not whether students need digital literacy skills; the dilemma lies elsewhere.
Learners may not always be sure how best to study, how to learn, how to develop their creativity and channel their learning abilities. That is why they are learning. A learner may often continue expecting teachers to maintain the authoritarian roles they were perhaps accustomed to, giving them no chance to experiment, to take on a more active learning role. These shifts take time. However, as 2011 comes close to an end, with all the wealth of communication channels, open access, and communication platforms, educators no longer have the excuse to hide behind walls of indifference and ignorance. Educators no longer have excuses to continue exercising a role which is crumbling under the weight of falling walls.
If an educator is supposedly regarded as an “expert”, then let it be as Justine Tarte explains in The 13 Habits of Experts, referring to Cushman. Let educators ask questions, let educators be encouraged to ask why. Let there be a shift in culture – instead of walls, locked doors and closed boxes, educators and learners need to collaborate, to accept critique, not fear reprisal for introducing change.
It is time. Time to move on, to drop the debate of whether tech should or not be introduced and encouraged in education. If one is teaching, preparing for a future unknown, let education relate to the real world, open its windows and doors. For both learners and teachers.
Time to move on, to know that tech will not excuse nor cover up poor pedagogy.
Time to move on and focus on what really matters – the development of digital literacies as a way of living in our present, early 21st century.
How do you release change in thinking?
The 13 Habits of Experts - Justine Tarte
Suggestions for further reading:
How Technology Can transform Classrooms – Jesse M. Langley
This is not Optional Anymore – George Couros
Why “I Don’t Do Technology” Isn’t Acceptable – Gerald Aungst