Creating a Paradigm Shift

Part of a comment left by Catherine Hiltz on Embedded Technology

I think that the first step needs to involve creating a better
understanding of educational paradigm shift. Perhaps this needs to be
done by the provincial departments or at the division level. Without
the philosophical background/understanding, I think that perhaps most
educators will continue to flounder with tech. I would like to hear your
thoughts on this…

Well since you asked…

We do need to create a paradigm shift in education at the way in which technology is viewed. We have a history to over come.

When technology first showed up in schools some 20 years ago or so, we didn’t really know what to do with it. Sure we wanted it, we knew that it was something new…something that was going to change education, but we just didn’t know much about it yet. So we put a bunch of computers in a room…called them labs and sat staring at the blinking green square wondering what to do next.

So we decided that we’d invite teachers and their classes in. Completely optional of course, as we really didn’t know what you could do with this machine. Some teachers came in, they grabbed those big floppy disks and put them into the computer and let the students play Oregon Trail….do you remember that game? The original Oregon Trail?

So computers become a reward..it was fun….and most importantly it was options.

And that is part of the problem. Computers were introduced as optional use an though we now all use computers on a daily basis, there use for many teachers and in many schools is still optional. The reasons range from lack of training, to poor connection, to not having the time to learn how to use it. It doesn’t matter what the reason is…the fact is in the majority of schools today…using technology tools is optional teaching.

So, that is the paradigm shift in my eyes that we need to overcome. We need to look at the skills needed in the 21st century and understand that using technology is no longer optional. That using a pencil and paper is now optional and the computer and digital information is needs to be the new standard.

That is the real paradigm shift. It needs to happen at the core of education. We need to change our views on the use of these tools roles in the classroom and in learning. Until we come to a fundamental understanding that technology is no longer option…we will continue to be frustrated and continue to prepare students for jobs that use to exist with skills no longer needed.

Only because you asked….

[tags]21st Century Learning[/tags]

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