As new technology is evolved, then the world changes. As the world changes, then education also changes. Education encourages the development and use of new technologies and therefore the entire cycle starts again. New technologies are being developed, different types of learning styles and methods are being created, and learning environments are offering new options. While preparing students to become lifelong learners, the teachers need to be familiar and educate themselves with these educational changes. We, as teachers, need to instill in our students how to learn about these changes after they leave our classrooms so they can continue to be well rounded and prepared for their future. Since things are constantly shifting it is hard to prepare for the exact changes but we can all learn how to continue to grow with the adjustments of education and technologies.
As referenced above, the change in education is not really a new concept. It will continually change as it cycles and as new technologies are developed (and vice versa). We have always had many options of education. Today, private, public, charter, and online education are popular. We live in an entire world of options. Just because you order the steak well done doesn’t mean that I want it cooked that way. What is most important is that the students are getting the BEST education for that student. Just like you would order what is BEST for YOU to eat. While distance education or online education has become today’s “newest” way of learning, it is also not a new concept. Distance education has evolved since learning through mail years and years ago. Today, distance education is just another option for education. I think that these same ways of receiving education will continue to evolve to meet the needs of the world.
For my classroom and for my students, I hope that the students will be able to develop lifelong learning skills to advance his or her education, everyday lives, and future careers. To prepare students for the knowledge and skills needed for the future, I see the need for educators to make things more applicable and demonstrate how the content they are learning to other subjects and the students’ everyday lives. 2020 education should challenge students to develop essential skills such as communication, collaboration, and problem solving. I see educators creating several learning solutions to help meet these opportunities and challenges for students. Students completing small group work, presentations, word problems, projects, community based services, interviews with adults about their lives, games, and both asynchronous and synchronous lessons are coming for all classrooms. The skills and knowledge that students learn in my 2020 classroom will be applied to their future education, careers, and personal lives. The students can use the same methods that are demonstrated in the class. The opportunities that will be given to the students will relate to their futures (personal, school, and work force). When students see similar events occur, they can relate to the skills and knowledge that they previously learned in class. Noticing the connection, will help to eliminate challenges and complete the task at hand.
I see teaching today, headed in that 2020 vision that I described. One of the major differences will be the abundance of connections that students and teachers can make through the use of technology. Students will be more “owners” and “pioneers” in their education. As an owner, the students will accept their knowledge and skills with a sense of pride and accomplishment. As a pioneer, the students will go out and use their knowledge and skills to connect with others, better society, and enhance their career and personal life. Today, some teachers feel that this shift in technology lacks the building of social skills. I, too, believe that social skills are one of the most important skills for students to learn. However, I think that students need to learn both appropriate verbal AND written social skills. Technology has changed the way we socialize. In previous education years, teachers have focused a lot on verbal social skills; however, with the recent shift towards technology in society, students must also learn the appropriate social skills to use through written communication. Unlike verbal communication (which we are all very familiar with), we can’t hear the tone in our writing socialization. An inappropriate or not well written blog post could cause much confusion or controversy if not written properly. Fortunately, I see that there will be more and more opportunities to grow BOTH the verbal and written social skills within the classroom. Another goal for my classroom now and in the future will be to provide opportunities to enhance social relationships and learning through the use of connections and technologies.
Technologies help promote motivation, engagement in the classroom, and a positive attitude in the learning process. They also help to support students’ creativity, interests, and preparedness for their future. Today’s technologies have become a vital tool in learning and teaching in the math classroom. It has mostly been the responsibility of the teacher to use any technology available to prepare his or her students for the 21st century classroom. There are endless possibilities that teachers use to enhance their lessons, motivate their students, and engage their students in the learning process and own creativity. The teacher’s approaches in education help to give opportunities for connections with others while promoting learning. Today’s technologies have become a way of life and a way of the classroom. As the classroom continues to evolve with the use of technologically, I hope (and I already see this happening) that students will take responsibility for using technology to enhance his or her learning experiences, as resources, and in developing everyday skills. Students of the 21st century have a plethora of technology available to them!
I think and hope that in 2020, students will the ones that are shaping education and learning. The role of the teachers will be to help support and advance this learning through the emerging technologies. How powerful education will be!