Changing education

It is very clear to me that the challenges facing teachers go far beyond a pro-d session in how to use a Smartboard, iPad, laptop computer, social networking, or any other digital resource. Not only are teachers facing changes in their technological cultures as never before, they are also facing changes to the very foundations of what it means to be an educator, and what an educator is attempting to do with a room full of children, youth, or young adults for 10 months out of the year.

The technological cultural changes that are shaping new social, economic, environmental, and political realities, are also coming in the doors of educational institutions. They are carried inside the minds and devices of the young people entering the institution.

I was at a party recently, and learned that a lifelong educator, soon to retire, is spending his last two years in career seconded to a teacher education program. I thought, “But how is he going to facilitate change in the field of education, when he is unable to grasp the changes in technological cultures and linguistic cognitive domains that every citizen on the planet is undergoing?” Even indigenous peoples of remote Amazon tributaries are learning to use the Internet and networked digital media to get their message out.



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