The Future of Education – Week #3 Required Blog

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.

“Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important.” ― Bill Gates

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.

5 thoughts on “The Future of Education – Week #3 Required Blog

  1. Good Morning Darryl. I like your closing comment “regardless…teachers will always be an important part of education”. It really is our integrity as professionals to learn/grow with our students and to seek ways to learn/grow. Thank you for saying this as I tend to be (self) critical in my role in the future of our school. Being close to retirement, but still having a heart for education, I intend to use my MEd degree to be a instructional/administrational leader so I continue to seek ways to learn/grow. “Digital natives” (not my favorite term) are in our classrooms; they are the girls and boys with hand held devices who use every opportunity to pull that device out of their pocket/bag and sit with heads down, eyes glued to a small screen and command the internet world (the social web) with a finger. How do we channel that energy to learning? I think we can support tech-learning by teaching media/digital literacies and leading our students out of the social world of media (visitor/resident) and draw their minds to learning mode, using tech assistance. Our school operates independently (no division office) and needs to address the shortage of technology devices in the classroom. With that being said, my task in my classroom can be to engage with students using tech as part of the lessons! Thanks for the conversation

  2. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I feel there are some things that “old-school” educators can support digital natives. For example, we can develop their habit of using digital technology properly. Schools and parents should work together to manage students’ use of technology, ensuring that they find a balance between harnessing its benefits and embracing its risks. A distinction should be made between “use of electronic devices for educational purposes” and “use of electronic devices for entertainment and recreation.” If students want to research a project with the help of the Internet or use the latest software to create a wonderful slide show for their own project presentation, the school should certainly provide them with the right equipment. It also helps them learn to self-regulate and try to find a balance. I also think that, despite proper controls, we should leave some space for students to use the Internet as adults do: wander from site to site, use search engines to explore their interests and discover new things around them. The most exciting moments come from this carefree quest, such as meeting a new partner or acquiring some fascinating knowledge.


  3. I am very skeptical that students in general are technologically savvy. While students may be able to use various applications (I believe this is more of a testament to how good user interface design has become) I don’t believe that they have a deep understanding of the underlying technology involved or its implications. In a way it reminds me of being a driver. I spend a significant portion of my day driving, but I am clueless when it comes to vehicle maintenance (outside of basic oil changes and brake pad replacement). Further to this I wouldn’t know how to set up a road system, set speed limits, or decrease road congestion. One could say that while I am familiar with cars – I don’t really understand them. I certainly couldn’t build you one from scratch. I think students are in the same boat. Just because they can drive the technology this doesn’t mean they are the masters of it.

    • Matt, you just unlocked the best analogy ever!! I completely agree that they can easily navigate (newer) apps (as a result of interface design as you said), but don’t generally have extensive skills beyond that. If I had a dollar for every time I showed a student how to double-space their Word doc, I could retire a lot earlier than originally planned. The implications of this is the biggy that I’m worried about with kids. Do they truly understand the implications of their attachment/dependency on apps versus having any actual skills with technology? With their brains not fully developed yet, I would think it is physically impossible for them to fully grasp. This also relates to the visitor/resident convo because I think students today are becoming residents a little too early on when just visiting is the only purpose their tech use should have until a certain age. And once you become a resident in the capital city of dopamine, why would you ever want to revert to being just a visitor?!

  4. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I agree that teachers will continue to play a pivotal role in education. While technology can facilitate learning and provide access to vast amounts of information, teachers provide guidance and inspiration to explore, learn, and grow. Education is about fostering a love for learning and critical thinking. It’s crucial that we adapt to the times, embracing technology as a valuable tool while retaining those core values. As we move forward, I believe the fusion of technology with effective teaching will define the future of education.

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