We have heard the buzz words #changingeducation #reformation #educationaltransformation, and others for a number of years now. But what change or transformation has taken place?
Change does take time, it is slow to move, but it can, and is happening. But at what cost is this snail-pace change affecting our learners for today and for their future?
Teacher education needs to be on the forefront producing new teachers who are equipped to translate their campus learning into their classroom practice. Many new teachers are not provided opportunities to design learning using technologies in meaningful ways to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills, and are not prepared to make changes. These new teachers enter their classrooms teaching in old ways because of the way they were taught. Many new teachers need professional development from day one of their careers to be effective teachers in the 21st century.
Standards, benchmarks, documents – created by governments and other organizations are excellent. But how many educators actually know that these exist? Ask a few of your colleagues if they know about the ISTE Standards for teachers or students. Or do you know about the New Horizon Report? First, do you know about them? Do you know how to design learning to promote critical thinking and problem solving, using technology? Now you say, well it’s not about the technology (this statement is sometimes used as a cover-up to avoid learning to use technologies!). So true! And it’s not about the pencil. But we need to use technology in our learning designs to prepare students for the ‘real world’. The world has changed and continues to change–rapidly. Are we teaching the way we were taught, in old ways, preparing our students for our past? Are we doing that because we are comfortable in our zone?
Teaching in the 21st century is indeed very exciting!! It’s a tough job and not for the weak or faint of passion. It’s not for those who have a general degree and don’t know what to do with it so they become teachers (in name). Teaching begins with passion. Teaching requires effort and work and time. It’s time for action! Now! One step at a time – we need to do something to create change. Together we can do it!