According to Cathy Davidson, prior Duke University Professor and co-director of the annual MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning Competitions, “65 percent of today’s grade-school kids may end up doing work that hasn’t been invented yet.” Fifteen years ago Facebook, Google, iPhone, apps, YouTube, Twitter, and Wikipedia didn’t even exist. Yet now these tools have become household names. These inventions are not only shaping a new work force, but they are shifting the very way we conduct our lives.
With this in mind, a 21st century education is one that reflects our extreme access to information and interactions. It equips students to decisively sieve through massive quantities of information. It prepares them to evaluative new applications and adopts new skills daily. These students will mange large complex communication networks and use technology tools for virtual collaboration. Preparation for these skills requires we revitalize certain notions about the landscapes of education.
The US Department of Education National Education Technology Plan identified 21st learning frontiers as: inquiry/adventure based, online collabortories, mapping, augmented reality platforms, crowd sourcing, mobile applications, published content, and interactive simulations. Contrary to today model, these environments often define the role of teacher as facilitator and student as explorer.
Technology use simply, is not technology integration. In fact, authentic technology integration is when a teacher and a child don’t stop to think they’re integrating technology into learning (Edutopia). The focus for educators now must be how to bridge the gap between technology integration in the real life vs. school life.
MindShift. (n.d.). How Do We Prepare Our Children for What’s Next? Retrieved from http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/tag/school-day-of-the-future/
U.S. Department of Education. (2010) National Education Technology Plan 2010. Retrieved from http://www.ed.gov/technology/netp-2010
Edutopia. (n.d.). What is technology integration? Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/technology-integration-guide-description