Are education systems adapting to meet the needs of students?
In the words of arguably, the most famous Aussie political slogan of all time… It’s Time!!!
Recently I asked a group of preschoolers to pretend they were taking a photo of each other. Every one of them confidently held their pretend camera away from their body to look at the pretend preview screen before they clicked. Gone are the days of putting your eye to a viewfinder!
Children use technology as easily as I used a pen and paper or read a book when I was growing up. My parents still read a newspaper to keep up with current affairs but I access news sites online or ‘google it’ while my 20something daughter relies on social media sites.
We live in a world where children are stimulated continually from the day they are born by technology… television, dvds, ipods, phones, cameras, image files, internet and so much more. When they come to school we ask them to sit quietly and listen to a teacher who has important things to tell them. It might be important but in comparison to the student’s ‘techno’ world it is usually not very entertaining… and we wonder why students are so easily distracted! How can we expect them to learn if they are not excited to be involved?
Education is about learning how to think in a variety of ways. Some subjects teach a student to follow procedures or research while other subjects teach problem solving, questioning and creativity. If our children are to develop their creative thinking skills, we need to offer opportunities for them to have a go. Creative thinkers often work collaboratively and understand that there can be more than one answer. Often they can see many solutions!
The following short video created by G&T middle students in the Dallas/Fort Worth indicates that change is needed and that technology is their answer… what do you think?