What will the future of education look like in the days, months, or years to come with regards to the ever changing world and constantly evolving technological advancements? For some, there is a fear or sense of urgency to change the way we educate our students to keep pace with the changing times and technology. For others who believe in the “Digital Native” concept coined by Marc Prensky, there is no need to worry.
If you support the Digital Native concept, then you would fall into the category of people who feel that today’s youth are born with the ability to to use technology and that there is really nothing that we, as “old-school” educators can do to support them. The reality in the educational setting is that most students can use Snapchat and the newest version of the Iphone, but yet they still struggle with other technologies that they have not been exposed to. One example of this is that we are currently experiencing is the switch to Sask DLC from Division run distance learning. Staff and students alike have had to learn how to use Sask DLC and DLCgo to support learning.
White & Le Cornu spoke about a fluid continuum of learning with regards to digital citizenship known as “Visitors & Residents.” Their concept speaks more to individuals moving back and forth between the 2 and never residing completely in the visitor mode or the resident mode. (visitor mode – to use technology as a tool with no social trace while the resident mode is more present with others and does leave a social trace)
The visitor & resident continuum concept tends to lend more to the future of education. The facts remain that all people, regardless of age, are learners and are able to learn and grow. The future role of education, schools, and educators is to be the catalyst that inspires students to learn, try new things, and to take chances. Regardless of what education looks like in the future, the teacher/catalyst will always be the most important part of education.