Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Did You Know 2.0 & 4.0

Did You Know? 2.0 - Watch a funny movie here

EDU 648 Week 1 - Future of Learning and Education - My Response

The most interesting statistic is that 2.7 billion Google searches per month were performed in 2007(McLeod & Fisch, 2007).  Though this does not surprise me, it supports a question that I have heard floating around the edtech (educational technology) community over the past few months, "What can we teach students that cannot be Googled?"  In the past, educators and libraries controlled the answers to students' questions.  Teachers were expected to know the answers or know were to find the answers, which made students dependent on teachers.  Now, multiple answers to questions can be Googled faster than a student can raise his/her hand.

As a result, we must change our approach to education for future learners by acknowledging that students have access to the knowledge of the world literally in the palm of their hands.  In addition to using technology as a delivery platform, teachers need to teach students how to manage the overwhelming amounts of information available online.  Content on the web is created by a wide variety of people, so we need to teach students how to sort through this information.  As overwhelming as it seems, students should not stop at Wikipedia's 13 million articles or the first few feeds of a Google search (McLeod & Fisch, 2009).  Students need to be able to access and evaluate quality online information.

To develop as a more effective instructor, I need to focus my curriculum planning to incorporate the most effective technologies.  I model the usage of technology in the preparation, presentation, and implementation of all of my lessons.  As of last fall, I had access to 1,000,000,000,00 webpages and 65,000 iPhone apps (McLeod & Fisch, 2009).  I can become overwhelmed by the theories and tools I am continuously exposed to via Twitter, RSS feeds, Delicious, emails, and my own searches.  My brain is constantly swimming with possibilities.  I know the content I need to teach and how to access quality educational technology tools, but I need to further abilities of conducing performance analysis to evaluate my possibilities. 

In the future of education, technology will be the medium by which content is presented to the students.  At the 2010 Computer Using Educators conference, I heard David Thornburg, say, "2009 was the first year in which laptops became cheaper than textbooks."  Within the next few years, all lessons will become a synthesis of current resources, such as links to current information and biographies of famous people, recordings of famous speeches, interactive games, real videos, virtual experiments, and more.  Textbooks will become online interactive hosts to this information.  By learning with the most current technologies, students will be prepared to invent new ways to advance technology.     
The country that will have the most dominant base of well-educated learners in the future is whichever county's education system progresses near the same rate at the technology being produced.  In order for this to happen, teachers need to inspire students to not just use technology, but to create technology.  In order for this to happen, teachers must be able to model and teach technology use.  However, in the United States, many districts still struggle to get all teachers to check their school-issued email accounts.  
McLeod, S., & Fisch, K. (2007, June 22). Did You Know 2.0. YouTube. Retrieved April 22, 2010, from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMcfrLYDm2U

McLeod, S., Fisch, K., & Bestler, L. (2009, September 14). Did You Know 4.0. YouTube. Retrieved April 22, 2010, from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ILQrUrEWe8

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