Are today’s students different? }
In order to answer this question we must first ask ourselves: Are people shaped by their environment? The 21st Century environment is all about change. Since technology is moving so quickly, we have to learn to deal with change on a regular bases. We need to learn to deal with the speed and magnitude of change. We used to have a good handle on what was developmentally appropriate for students. As students have access to more technology, they are exposed to more information. Students come to school with a larger knowledge base than they used to, yet they are still emotionally only capable of handling so much. So change means that the nature of education is changing.
What should our students know?
We have to talk about teaching students skills and not tools. Our students will be better prepared for their future if they have skills since the tools become outdated so quickly. The following skills are important:
1. Teach students how to follow their passions
2. Teach students about knowing the right thing to do
3. Teach them about getting it done
4. Teach students about getting things done with others
5. Teach them about doing it creatively
6. And finally, teach students about constantly doing things better
How should we teach them?
There is a new paradigm for learning where kids are teaching themselves with the teacher’s guidance. Children are already doing this outside of the school day. We must never try to teach our students anything, we must only try to create an atmosphere in which they can learn.
Is technology in class a help or a curse?
We must let our students fly with technology. We must let them do the work and our job is to evaluate it. They are the researchers when it comes to the technology, so there is no need for us to create anything, but give them the time to figure it out themselves. This is the model of teaching that we should be striving for from now on.