Friday, September 27, 2013

Connected learners need connected teachers

Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano creates some excellent presentations and here's a new one dealing with the need for teachers to become globally connected. Read also her related blog post, Global learning - what do you mean?

It's a simple message but for some reason it is taking a long time to reach all parts of the education system. If students are going to succeed in a global knowledge society they need teachers who are able to guide them. Assuming that students are digital natives and don't need support with digital literacy is resigning responsibility. Using today's social media and net-based tools require very little, if any, technical expertise; often much simpler than using the average washing machine or TV set.

We need to move away from seeing digital media as mysterious technology only for the initiated, to integrating them into education as natural communication tools. Maybe we need to stop calling it all technology because doing so gives many an escape clause: "I'm a teacher not a technician".
In the past when computers were deskbound and clumsy there were legitimate fears that students would be pacified in front of screens all day but today's "technology" is mobile and ubiquitous. Learning can take place anywhere rather than being confined to the classroom. But first we need to learn how to connect.

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