Monday, January 17, 2011

Why Is Including Technology Into Teaching So Important

So, I have used my recent "vacation" (snow days combined with weekends and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day) to do some much needed professional reading.  I have used it to come up with new assignments for my students, new ideas for keeping me going professionally, and new ideas for blog posts.  The latter is certainly my focus for tonight.  When people ask me if I ever take a day off, I guess I have to say "no," because education in the 21st Century is always changing.  As I watched the video of a recent TED talk posted by its caretaker, Chris Anderson, I realized that so much of what I am asking my students to do is preparing them for the world in which they are going to need to be part of the Crowd Accelerated Innovation that he is talking about here.  Our students need to be ready for a world in which they learn from watching what people around the world are doing.  Maybe it's a new dance move picked up on YouTube, or a new way to view science and medicine through Jove, or it's their participation in a digital debate about whatever topic they choose to debate about.  If they are not ready to add to this world-wide discussion, then we as educators are doing them a disservice.  As much as I want my students to learn and understand their role in American history, I need to realize that they are part of something much larger than that.  That I am not doing my job to prepare them for what comes next, not just as students or as adults, but as citizens in a world community that may develop goodness only knows what.  I am proud to be part of the technological revolution in education, and can only hope that as many of my colleagues as possible jump on board and join me.

(For more information about the TED talks series, click on "Chris Anderson."  To see his thoughts on the importance of video technology and its future importance on the global stage, click on "Crowd Accelerated Innovation." or watch it here.)

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