We live in a world driven by technology and the internet thus, they should be seamlessly integrated into the learning experience as they are in our everyday lives. They aid in providing students opportunities where they become producers of information and not only consumers of information. The focus is not on technology, it is on the skill set which they take into practice. The internet is making the world a smaller place. With just one click we can bring exotic animals into our classroom, talk to authors of our favorite books and visit far away places. We as educators need to possess the skills and behaviors of this increasingly digital society, so we can provide students with learning experiences which prepare them for a successful future.
Beyond just using technology and internet I envision them facilitating these skills:
Students need to be able to communicate their understanding. Not by choosing an answer from a multiple choice questionnaire. But explaining the why and the how, they should present evidence to their statements. With the use of technology and the internet, students are given a voice with multiple ways of expression which allows them to reflect on their learning. By being able to properly communicate their thoughts and knowledge, students can also help fellow classmates in understanding concepts which in turn promotes a collaborative environment.
Collaboration should happen in and outside the classroom setting. Teachers should promote empathy and expose students to different cultures for them to participate in an increasing globally connected society. The different technology devices and online media tools facilitate student collaboration. When working in teams, teachers should emphasize the importance of each member and what they bring to the project. They need to work with and learn from each other.
Creative thinking must be fostered in the learning experience. Educators must understand the different cognitive tools which encompass creative thinking and allow students opportunities to practice. With the use of technology and internet, students can apply their knowledge to create, explore, and model.
Education is changing and we need to be prepared to help students become creators and contributors to the classroom, community and the world. As educators we need to be the role models and demonstrate collaboration and communication to enhance creative thinking process.