Friday, September 12, 2014

Getting Ready for the Future in Today's Classroom

                                              Future Learning - Mini Documentary

Did you Know?/Shift Happens (Version 6)

      Watching these short films really made me excited, scared, worried, yet motivated that the students of today can be ready for whatever comes at them as adult.    After watching Version 6 things looked intimidating.  Facts such as India having more honor students an American kid population put together, by the age of 38 having 10-14 jobs.  Even bigger “The jobs of the future have not even been invented yet.”  This can be quite intimidating as a student and even as a teacher who is supposed to prepare them.  Armed with the right tools though it will not matter what the next or newest gadget is because they will be ready, I am sure of this.  We are not asking a child of 1920 to pick up a tablet and find out how to find where Mumbai is, we are asking a child of 2014 to do what comes naturally to them.  Pick up a cell phone, tablet, computer connected to the internet and find anything.  Right at their fingertips. Even homework help.  Kids are more use to this technology as ever before and are ready, willing and even excited about learning in a classroom where it is available. 
                The mini-documentary “Future Learning” makes some really amazing points.  The idea of the blury lines between play and learning.  Video games have come a long way. Children learn without even realizing that they just did that thing that they thought was just reserved for the big scary, boring classroom -learn.  Sugata Mitra makes an incredible observation that I have always thought to be a key to school and any situation.  This is reading comprehension.  Anyone with this skill is armed.  They are able to protect themselves against what he calls doctrine.  If a child is armed from a young age with reading they can always, always learn something new even without the classroom.  The knowledge can never just simply be taken away from them therefore becomes the most important protection for them and whatever may come in the future.  Being able to reason and retrieve information is really key to the future fluctuations of the world and being able to flow in and out of whatever is to come.  In this way the future becomes rather excited instead of big and scary.  With the incorporation of technology kids are even more excited about learning to read.  Even if it’s just to understand what is on the screen. The motivation is real and the kids are ready.  

The Internet Classroom

           As we sit here today the world is going by so quickly.  Technology has and keeps developing so quickly that we often don’t know what to grab onto.  Is it the best idea, the best tool, where I want to spend my time and sometimes my money?  Even something that use to be such a simple as the classroom the - the teacher, student, desk, blackboard and textbook has changed so rapidly that we could so easily be left behind.  With a little study though and the guidance of a teacher anyone can get their footing and move into the future.    
          The Networked Student is a simple video but demonstrates a fantastic, real way many people can learn with a little direction.  The great thing about this is once one learns the tool of Connectivism one can use the concept to do and learn about nearly anything.  One can sit in a room and be connected to the world through the tools of technology without ever entering a classroom.  One can almost ask the question - Did the internet kill the classroom as we knew?                   
             The teacher helps the student learn how to build a personal learning network on the internet, vet sources of information and organize the immense about of information that can flood the senses.  For example through podcast one is able to listen to top sources in the field one is researching and/or read an informed blog along with a YouTube video attached.  There is so much video one could not possibly watch all of it in a lifetime.  In this case the teacher is used as a guide and to focus the student on what is most pertinent in the research. Also the teacher can help one not fall into or sometimes get the student out of the "rabbit hole" which the internet can often feel like. 

                                             Networked Student  by Wendy Drexler


  1. Hi Karen,
    I like how you put this statement "We are not asking a child of 1920 to pick up a tablet and find out how to find where Mumbai is.." This is so true! We are currently in an atmosphere in which children are exposed to all sorts of technology each day. We aren't asking for them to become engineers, were asking them to simply incorporate what they already know and love into their educational lives. Through doing this, they can see the connection between education and technology. I really loved how you put that statement, Thanks for sharing!

  2. I like your focus on reading comprehension. However,in making progress to learning of any type, after reading comprehension comes the next step of availability of reading material. In today's world a lot of the reading that is done is through the Internet. However, it worries me that many countries block access to various information sources. All countries have the ability to do this, but only a few actually do. When the available reading material is controlled by government censorship, the ability of readers to form informed opinions is severely diminished.

  3. I like the part you discussed if the internet killed the classroom. it is a very interesting topic and I agree with your idea that even with the use of the internet, the classroom is still required and so is the teacher. And I agree with you on children being more excited to read with the incorporation of technologies. I do see how it would be more fun with pics and videos and sounds. But I think maybe for older students, it may not be the same story. Personally, I find it easier to read if its paper-based.

  4. Hello Karen! I really like what you said about.... "Video games have come a long way. Children learn without even realizing that they just did that thing that they thought was just reserved for the big scary, boring classroom -learn" I think that video games are underrated and underused because they are seen as a distraction and not a learning tool. I think this is so silly, I think that it's okay if learning and play become one at times!