The question was asked at the end of the ICT in Education conference ‘What will you take away from #ictedu?’. Over the past two weeks I’ve been pondering this question and I keep coming back to a tweet that was sent during the day by Damien Quinn (@seomraranga)
Judging by the number of retweets on the day, this sentiment seemed to resonate with many. In the aftermath of the conference, I’ve had many a conversation, with my colleagues and others, about so many aspects of our education system, and many of those conversations came back to this tweet. The reality is that the current generation of learners is coming from a very different place from many of those who are teaching them. The rate of change in technology has resulted in a generation who are comfortable with technology in a way that is extraordinary to see. Back in the 70’s when I was in primary school the ‘World Book’ set of Encyclopedias were the fountain of all knowledge and tape recorders were the height of fashion. Now children have ‘Google’ at their fingertips and can capture images, voice clips and so much more using a plethora of devices.
As I was going through school and college, my teachers and lecturers really were the ‘sages on the stage’. Going through college, lecture notes (all 15-16 foolscap pages taken down in a 50 minute lecture!) were often traded like gold dust, because it really was the only way to cover the material. Can we say the same now? Over the past few years I have been struggling with how to teach what I teach because I recognise that I am no longer the ‘sage on the stage’ – rather I am just one voice among many that students have access to. So the challenge for me is to help students to maximise what they can take from these many voices. Teaching the way I was taught will not work because so much has changed since I was taught. So I’m going to finish with another tweet from #ictedu from Sabine McKenna (@sabinemckenna).
The challenge for us all is: How do we effectively use these new technologies in our teaching to give our students their tomorrow?