Are our "Digitally Native" students really native to the effective use of tools to support and enhance their learning?
My students were all born in the age of digital technology. They work in a microcosm that has a myriad of tools available with 1:1 iPads, laptops, ready access to the internet and teachers who are active users. Is this enough?
We have policies and agreements for use, we have expectations around what is appropriate, we have an inbuilt radar that tries to create a symbiotic relationship between the traditional and new.
This is where my questions start to play on a loop in my head.
Is it new? Really? We talk about 21st century skills like the 21st century is new - We are nearly 20% of the way into the 21st century. . . it's not new!
We need to see IT tools as part of the class, much the same way pencils and scissors are seen. If teachers are not confident to use the tool then that needs to faced. It is an issue; face it head on and change; teachers can not wait for mandated training.
As learners we need to find ways to up-skill and build confidence. As teachers we have a responsibility to operate in the 21st century with all that it offers.
I am eagerly watching and reading snippets from the #ISTE18 news feed of @twitter and am inspired to try to attend one of these events; even if it is on the other side of the world.
Inspiration comes from so many places; you don't need to attend a conference or go to special PD (although the ISTE18 looks fabulous); you need the mindset to face the issue, you need to develop intrinsic motivation to build your skills, face the difficult conversations and ask others for support.
When our students move from one class to the next we have expectations of the incoming class; will they have the skills, knowledge and understanding we expect for the learning to come in this class. Students have expectations as well; questions: will this teacher be someone I can connect with, will I build a relationship that will ensure I am supported in my endeavour to learn; will I learn & improve, will I have the opportunity to take charge, to invest in my learning and develop skills, will my voice be heard? Will the teacher be IT skilled; will I be able to use the tools I know how to use and will I be able to extend my skills and applications.
We need to be cognisant of the fact that students expect IT to be part of their life, their learning & communication. The challenge is knowing how to ensure that this is seamless from class to class, year to year.
Teaching in an IBPYP school; interests: student agency, technology integration, growth mindset & the continuous cycle of improvement that is the world of education, learning and being!