OK so here we go – this is my very last education project and probably the one that is most relevant to my own slant on education.For me using technology (laptops, the internet, smart boards etc.) come fairly naturally.Last term I even had one of my students ask me if, “I would always be using [my] laptop and the smart board?Cuz, like…none of our teachers do that…they just sit in the room.”I looked at him and said, “Yeah, I will be almost every day.”The only response I received was, “Cool!”I think this goes a long way in showing the difficulty with using some of the technology that is already available in many classrooms – most of the teachers today see it as this new thingy that they can use to ‘connect’ their lesson plans to their students.
In a way that’s fine, it shows they want to make their lessons more relative – they just find it hard to fit them in.I’ll go back to my own experience with the same group of students as I quoted above.Apparently me using computers just blew them away because the question this question came up a few days later, “Why do you use it? Just cuz you like it?”I replied with the only response that came to mind, “Yeah, in a way.” I explained the concept of the ‘digital native’ I explained that I had always used computer.They had always been around and from very early on in life I have played with settings, learnt programs and eventually pulled them apart and put them back together.I explained that he (the student) and I shared that aspect we were both digital natives.Then I explained that people only a few years older than me did not have that advantage – computers were something they learnt because it was a new tool, a way of doing things easier or faster.They didn’t incorporate computers into their lives in the same way that digital natives did.This discussion I had with my class not only helped them understand their teachers a little better, but it also helped me understand myself – and therefore other young teachers.Currently many PD workshops involving ICT are about “how we can integrate it into our classrooms”, again that’s fine – I went to one this year during SAG.But that’s not going to be the major issue for ‘our’ generation of teachers.What our generation needs is for the system to catch up, to stop viewing the internet as a tool to help connect the old style of the classroom with students; and start looking at it as a way to change the classroom all together.Our schools need to understand that the wired world is not the future – it is the now students already know it, they just need schools to catch up.
I produced a video that I think sums up my feelings and what we have been learning all term long.I hope everyone enjoys it and has had as much fun as I have: