Watching the influence of technology as a student turned educator has been fascinating. Many of us grew up playing on black and white devices and seeing the evolution of the role of technology in our lives. The computer is vital to today's learners and provides them with a platform to be in the global market.
Window to Our World
Background knowledge is so essential to our students' learning and application of lessons. The more background knowledge our students have the more they are able to connect to different texts, lessons and experiences in school. Our students are entering the school and learning environment being exposed to more than ever before. Technology has made out huge world much closer and not so huge. Students entering elementary schools are able to watch families and youtubers across the world create online journals or travel, their lives in the country they may be from and different interests. It really is an exciting time to grow up in.
Access to Thousands of resources
With many schools being one to one devices or students being able to bring their own devices, they have access to a world of resources at their fingertips. There are online libraries, encyclopedias, websites, video documentaries and so much more. Using technology to become more global has made our learners more up to date than ever before. Gone are the days of ancient textbooks from more than 10 years ago. These modern students are more up to date than any generation before them with the most recent and updated information.
Tools for 21st Century Learning
I really love the tools that our students have and it seems like new ones are developed so often to help any students or people with learning differences. This is such an inclusive time to be a student. I have mentioned many of the applications and websites available to students with learning differences, because of all of these, a group of students who were previously labeled as not being able to learn or participate because of their decoding ability or attention ability. It really is an exciting time for students.
Accountability and Motivation
The many applications that teachers and parents have now to organize and keep up with their students has grown leaps and bounds. From calendars to chore charts and scheduling applications there are so many apps and online devices that can help our students be accountable and motivated. Students are especially motivated when they have control and an ability to make decisions regarding their scheduling and task management. The ability to control and organize helps our students become more globally aware and driven to participate in their own learning.
Using modern technology
As our students grow, they have the opportunity to learn using all types of new technology. Using modern technology to learn, communicate and share ideas helps our students become a part of the global community. Our students are at the front lines of modern technology consumption and also, as mentioned before, become so motivated and accountable for their own learning when they are given the opportunity to use new and modern technology.
Part of becoming more global as our students grow is making sure they can communicate ideas. When I think of being global, it’s not just to communicate and think, but to communicate an idea that will help solve a problem or make someone's life easier. Students in general are creative and innovative and as parents and teachers it is so important we give them the opportunity to practice communication at home as well as in the classroom for purpose so as they grow up, they are confident in communication with the different communities they are involved in.
World Perspective and Opinions
If using more technology has taught us anything it is that everyone is able to share their opinions on everything. While oftentimes this provides a chance to see different perspectives, being a global citizen means knowing how to read what is opinion and what is fact, making sure to read between opinion and truth. Giving our students the chance to do this is essential to their critical thinking. Using technology helps provide with the most upto date information which allows students to see perspective and opinions of current events and react to this in real time. Using Blogs and news articles are wonderful practice for students. Practicing ways to react to others' opinions which may not be our own is a crucial skill to becoming a global citizen and interacting with one another using technology.
As I mentioned at the beginning, what a truly exciting time for our students to grow up in, they are getting to play a key part of being citizens of their school community, state, country and world. Our generations coming up will do great things. We need to provide safe and real opportunities for them to use their critical thinking and discussion skills before jumping into the real world. Making sure they are using modern technology and exposed to new and different perspectives will help make them contributing members of our global community.