Falling Behind: My Thoughts about Education 3.0

I am not “that” old.

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However, I sometimes feel old when I think about all the things I have yet to learn about technology. And as I’m taking time to learn, technology continues to evolve at an exponential rate. I recently saw this video, and I can’t even say that the ideas in it are far-fetched.

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Where is technology heading?

Scott and Adam, in their respective blog posts this week, mention that technology has advanced so quickly that it is difficult to keep up with all the tools that are available to us.

One thing we’ve heard multiple times during ECI833 classes is that we, as educators, do not have access to adequate and sufficient training in the application of technology in the classroom. What worries me is that, by the time our school systems embrace the fact that technology is here to stay and admit that the way we “do” education is strongly affected by the advancements in technology (and, as a consequence, education will need to be subjected to some major changes), we will be “too behind” to be able to implement all the expected changes. I still have 20 years of teaching ahead of me, and I’m excited to experience the benefits technology will surely continue to bring to our students. But the changes to technology are so considerable that it’s hard to imagine our education system being able to keep up. Even so far today, have we been able to “keep up” at a pace that is sufficient?

In her blog post this week, Sage created a table that summarizes the educational approaches that correspond to Web 1.0, Web 2.0 and Web.3.0. This summary outlines the evolution of education in regard to the internet. It is clear that there is a strong correlation between education and technology. And this connection is something that we certainly cannot deny as we evaluate what we’re teaching and how we’re teaching. When I was a student, I remember my math teacher emphasizing the importance of learning mental arithmetic because “you won’t always have a calculator in your back pocket”. Can we use the same reasoning with our students today? Every single one of my students has a cell phone in his/her possession most of the time. How does this change the way I teach? I strongly agree with Amy B. when she says in her blog post this week that, in regard to our students’ cellphone usage, we “need to encourage/ model/ teach appropriate device usage.”  We need to accept that students have a world of information in their back pocket. Imagine what we can accomplish with that!!!

I took the time to read through the suggested readings this week, and I can’t say that I understand exactly how the Internet is going to become Web 3.0. All I can think of is “what else is left for the Internet to do?” I can’t imagine it getting any smarter than it already is.

animated johnny mnemonic GIF

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It has been mentioned multiple times on the course blogs and during weekly presentations, but it is worth saying again. We, as educators, are not properly equipped to incorporate technology in the classroom at its fullest potential. There is a lack of training, lack of resources, and our curriculums haven’t changed to reflect this new world in which our students are growing…

Without addressing the needs of our education system in regard to technology, we are permitting ourselves to remain static, while the world around us continues to progress.

Consequently, our students will not be adequately prepared for the future.

The blog question this week asked us to reflect on what type of student and teacher is privileged by the shift to Web 3.0. In their blog posts this week, some of my classmates talked about how certain “elite” schools have access to more resources in terms of technology when compared to some of the underprivileged schools. I agree that this is the reality of education today. Fifty years ago, a student in an elite school had access to roughly the same opportunities as another student in an underprivileged school, upon obtaining their high school diplomas. This is not the reality today.  If education is not evolving to reflect the needs of our society, and failing to provide the same opportunities to all our students, regardless of their socio-economic status, our system is failing.

 

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