A great read was shared with our technology task force, Why School? by Will Richardson. This is a quick read that gives an overview of the state of schooling in the United States where technology is concerned, and how we need to shift our thinking from traditional classroom roles of teacher/student to global learners. Richardson begs the question that is so often neglected...Why do we need school?
Shift needs to happen in the way that we approach learning with our students. No longer is memorizing facts going to be enough to get students by in the real world. With ubiquitous information available, students will need to learn how to recognize the facts, assimilate new knowledge, and synthesize what they know to real-world application and problem solving. They will need skills in working collaboratively both face-to-face and on-line.
In order for our students to be well-armed in a global economy, our teachers must also be prepared to teach these skills to students. While it would be impossible for all teachers to keep up with the latest technology, teachers must be tech-savvy and willing to learn new platforms, applications, and software. This won't require a specific knowledge base as much as it will require a skill base of problem solving and an open mind.
I am hoping this book will help our technology task force realize the importance not of technology itself, but the mindset which we will need to equip our students for handling world-sized problems as they move to real-life situations. We will need to shift the way in which we approach teaching and professional development. We will need to examine how technology is currently used in the classroom and determine how best to help teachers make the necessary shifts and mindsets in teaching and learning.