There is really no comparing the world that we live in today with the world that we used to live in – everything has completely turned around, the world has become smaller, everyone is simply more connected and informed. With such circumstances, suffice to say, there is a need to adjust the classrooms and the way the kids are educated. We need to ask – what is it going to take to separate the successful students from the mediocre ones? What is successful? What is education? How do we decipher them and identify them?
Considering the fact that almost everyone that we know are now using technology extensively (even my father has moved on to a smartphone, unbelievable, really), we need to review how we educate the children of the future and not base it on age-old ways.
There has been extensive work and research done by Tony Wagner, John Seely Brown and many others that we may not have heard about and we have explored the kinds of skills set that is needed to prepare the kids for the future that they face. The children of tomorrow need more critical thinking, problem solving, influential and adaptability skills than we used to need. We need to admit that the kids of today are more informed of their current world than we used to be. Back then, we made friends, played soccer, mingled around and went home. We didn’t have the current news or twitter or facebook in our pockets.
If I were the employer of the future facing throngs of potential employees, the first few things I would be looking for would be how self-reliant a person is. If a person is able to learn things on his or her own without the need of spoonfeeding, then that person is very employable. Bringing ourselves back to today, this means that we need to teach our students how to be more self-organized and manage one’s own work using technology. And this also means, we need stronger personalities with low acceptance o for drama and maintenance
And these are things that we are never taught in schools – perhaps a change is inevitable and inclusion of technology might be the next best thing. While thinking aloud, I was wondering if it was possible for students to email in their homework or collectively work on something on Google Docs with their friends and share them on Twitter or Facebook? Is it possible for them to start an Event on Facebook for their school project? Can they start a blog and hand it in as part of their project? Will schools accept it if the teacher received a student’s homework via a PDF file on a thumb drive?
While it is not completely possible for many parts of the world, for those of us who have the privilege of 24/7 internet, we need to explore the options?
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