Today's Big Question :
How can I connect my learning this week to my day to day work ?
I went home this evening and found my 2 year old daughter standing in front of the TV with her little index finger trying to swipe across the screen !
This reminded me of the article written by Diana Oblinger on Understanding the New Student. She talked about how “new” students are heavily influenced by technology . She also mentioned that the younger the age group, the higher the percentage who use the Internet for work , leisure or school.
In my classroom, the vocabulary words “download” , “Internet”, “blog”, or “login” have become a staple part of my second graders’ day to day conversations. Our students continually crave for more information . They are skilled multi-taskers and problem solvers who grew up with technology - believing life cannot exist without it. They are digital learners who have what Jason Frand describes an “information age mindset.” This reality makes me reflect on my job as a teacher- “Am I using technology adequately to meet the needs of my 21st century learners?”
I continue to ponder on this thought as I browse through my UbD units thinking of ways to design a multitude of lessons that provide meaningful experiences for my students, determine goals and essential questions, apply differentiation strategies and THEN make sure the unit is integrated with technology ! Truth of the matter is ... as the technology wave increases, so does the number of hats we teachers have to wear . This truth , sometimes, can become a road block to success.
Education trends will continue to shift and technology will always be a part of that change. As teachers, we are expected to ride that wave of change - to see it as an opportunity and not as a road block. We don’t have all the answers but we shouldn't be scared - because what we do have is something more powerful than knowing all the answers – and that is the power to CREATE solutions. If we ever fail in our attempt, John Mikton in his article , Success of Failure, writes:
“Invite ourselves to focus on the unique learning which failure can bring to our reflections, ideas, and ability to overcome the messiness of problems we face and will face. If our respective communities spent more time taking apart the failures we experience, look at each moment, see what components are in play, give us opportunities to do things differently than before. This can be the celebration of our collective learning from which we build our successes.”
As I watch my daughter swipe her little finger across the TV screen, I think about her growing up in a digital world … and I hope that she too, will have brave teachers who will see the changes in education as opportunities to create solutions so that she will learn to embrace all the challenges that she may face in this ever changing world .