When I think of the future of technology in education I am very excited about the possibilities that are becoming available to many students. I am just beginning to understand the doors that technology can open and am realizing that the potential for student learning is huge. I think that there are wonderful opportunities in store for our students and hope that our learning environments will move towards a more student centred approach. There are so many interesting “alternative” educational theories such as Montessori, Waldorf and Reggio Emilia, that can be invaluable resources to help our students to teach themselves. That’s the brilliant part of all of this. The way that education should be moving is nothing new. Many of these educational theories that promote creativity, confidence and self directed learning have been around for decades.
Adding technology into a student led environment can bring infinite potential to student learning. My hope is that less emphasis will be put on testing and teaching to tests and that students will be allowed to follow their interests and be encouraged to explore their passions. This way students can learn to take control of their own learning and see the real life value in what they are doing in school. In the article How a New Radical Model of Teaching Method Could Unleash a Generation of Geniuses, Joshua Davis emphasizes that “Innovation, creativity, and independent thinking are increasingly crucial to the global economy.” I couldn’t agree more.
There’s no doubt that education is continually changing. Who would have ever thought that we would see the day that Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC’s) would open up the world of learning to everyone (with internet access) for free. I have taken one myself and it helped me to understand the tremendous benefit of life-long learning that people all over the world can gain from these courses. This is leading education one step closer to allowing students to follow their passions and choose what they would like to study.
I am excited to be delving deeper into the world of technology during a “pause” as Jeff Utecht refers to it. As he notes in his article Taking Advantage of the Pause, we are currently in between new technological advances. His advice is to “enjoy this moment and take the opportunity to go deep in our thinking of how we use the tools we have really really well. Let’s really look at the theory of Connectivism. Let’s really look at SAMR and TPACK and make our brains hurt going really deep and having the hard conversations of how all these tools we have really impact education in meaningful and lasting way”. As an educator, I feel this is a great place to begin my technological journey. I have learned so much from COETAIL over the past year and now feel that I have the time to dig my heels in before everything changes once again.
When looking at where I will be in the future, that’s hard to say, especially living overseas. It’s exciting because I never know what opportunities may arise professionally. I’m sure that whatever I will be doing I will be using technology to encourage students to follow their passions and help guide them on the path that they choose.