“You don’t need technology to learn.”
I have heard this statement a ton from educators, and although there is truth to it, we have to realize that technology brings in opportunities for learning that we never had as kids.
For example…living in a small town in Canada, if I wanted to learn to play the violin as a kid, it was imperative that we would have a violin teacher living in the area. If I was adamant about it, we could have driven 75-90 minutes to the nearest city, and found a teacher. Adding not only the time it would have taken to get back and forth, but the money to not only have these lessons, but for gas and time off work for my parents, this would have been an opportunity afforded to only a few with the necessary resources to make it happen. To be honest, this wouldn’t have been something I would have even thought of as a child, because the opportunity wouldn’t have been there.
But now if I wanted to play the violin, I could just go on YouTube, or do a Google Hangout with someone who was a violin teacher, or someone who just loved playing and sharing how to play the violin. Or even better, these same kids can start teaching others around the world. One of my favourite quotes on education is from Joseph Joubert, who says, “to teach, is to learn twice.” The ability to teach others, will only further my own knowledge and skill-set.
These opportunities did not exist when I was a child.
When an educator says, “I don’t use technology because it’s not really my thing”, my response?
“It’s not about you.”
We can no longer ignore the opportunities that exist for our learners today. Our job is to create an education system that is better than the one we grew up in, as will be the duty of the next generation of educators. We must embrace what is right in front of us.
Here is a short video on some of these “Global Possibilities for Learning” from the “LearnTeachLead” site: