After all of the articles that I have read so far, I keep coming to the same conclusion:
THAT’S GREAT … BUT ________?
Now let me explain a little bit, I have found that academic articles analyze and critique the educational system that we currently have (which is great) and then they propose solutions or ideal situations where all of our wildest dreams come true. (and yes, as an educator I do dream about my classroom and courses.) Then reality hits me square in the face and I think (or shout in my head), how the heck am I going to implement that idea? Or even worse, that would be great … but what would (students, school district, parents, etc.) say.
SERIOUSLY? I know this seems like a small barrier to face as an educator, but I am finding that this is my first thought to why I could or could not use a certain technology in the classroom.
For example, Future Technology Infrastructures for Learning, the authors discuss the transition of educational technology. Specifically, there are 4 generations of educational technology:
- CONTROL = basic technology use
- INTEGRATION = enterprise systems
- OWNERSHIP = fragmentation and diversification
- STRUCTURE = distributed and digitally shaped technology
They continue to discuss the steps and struggles educators face as they start to shift their pedagogical practices. Siemins, Gasevic and Dawson state that “knowledge revolution is rapidly transitioning into a learning revolution.” (p. 203) Traditionally learning has been controlled by teachers, and now we are attempting to provide learning opportunities where students have more influence. This isn’t a bad thing, it just means that educators need to be given the TIME, RESOURCES & SUPPORT to implement these ideals.
To summarize, I don’t disagree with the aspirations to revolutionize education and learning, however I just think the timeline is a little unrealistic. It’s GREAT to want students to take ownership their education BUT what about students who are not motivated/don’t care about school? It’s GREAT that there are so many digital technologies available BUT do teachers and students have the skills to use them effectively? Or will the school district support the use of those technologies. It’s GREAT to educate student teachers on new and innovative digital platforms and pedagogies BUT will their school have the resources to integrate them in the classroom?
Siemens, G., Gašević, D., & Dawson, S. (2015). Preparing for the Digital University: A Review of the History and Current State of Distance, Blended, and Online Learning. Retrieved from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation website: http://linkresearchlab.org/PreparingDigitalUniversity.pdf