Friday, December 14, 2012


Education will continue to change because of technology. I have no idea where, or how, I will be teaching 5, 10, or 15 years from now. I do know that as I look back over the years that I was in school the standards of those days have been completely replaced.

Every movie I saw was on one of these…

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 I learned how to type, and wrote many papers, on one of these…

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And even when I started teaching this was the best tech tool I had available for the classroom…

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None of those tech tools exist in my current middle school. Every day I use a data projector, document camera, laptop, and iPad. With Apple TV my students can teach each other by taking over with their iPad. The classroom looks very different today than when I was their age.

With a vastly different landscape in the classroom and students no longer needing me to access information the 'how' we teach must change as well. I must teach students how to access information. Once they have accessed the information they need to know how to consider the validity of the information before they can evaluate the content. After that students need to be able to analyze and apply the information they have encountered. Finally students need the tools to be able to synthesize all they have learned.

I am no longer teaching students what they need to know, but teaching them how to use tools to be able to learn on their own. Again the how is the key. Students can choose which tools they want to use, rather than every student having to utilize the same tools.

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My job is to guide students. To give them opportunities to practice their learning skills. Chances to try and improve and not always succeed. A safe environment to discuss their thoughts and findings. Access to others to help when they get stuck (and I don't have to be their only option).

I would guess that the teaching environment of tomorrow will be more like today than that of 20 years ago. Student access to information is not going to go away. The teacher will never again be the sole access point. As the tools advance teaching practices will need to morph as well.

A MOOC is one possibility as a technological future for learning. If we change our focus from what is learned to how learning takes place more and more people could choose this type of learning environment.

How has your teaching changed with the shift in access to information and the advancement of technology?

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