“We become what we behold. We shape our tools and our tools shape us.” This quote by Marshall McLuhan is a poignant statement that needs to be addressed by educators. The change that has occurred just in the past 4 years has been dramatic. The implications of the shift from the Industrial age to the Knowledge age go far beyond any other transformation in history. Incorporating technology into education has become a necessity. It is because of this shift that I feel the need to enhance my professional abilities in this area.
The days of routine manual and cognitive tasks are slowly diminishing and the need to prepare our students for the 21st century workforce will require more complex communication skills and expert thinking. In order to meet the goals of education students will need to be taught knowledge tools and how to use technology, as they will be required to become life long learners. The continual development of skills is a must to stay competitive in the global economy.
Continual learning and growth is something I truly value. Whether it is with students or teachers, I want to be better able to prepare both the students I teach and the educators I work with to meet the goals of education in the Knowledge Age.
I want to connect with others who are working in this field to gain a better and well-rounded perspective of how to effect change in our current educational system. Communicating and contributing to this dialogue is extremely important to me. We are at a tipping point in education and the amount of information and knowledge in this area is vast. Collaborating with others to shape a better understanding of where education is heading and the potential possibilities is an exciting opportunity.
My current practice of connecting via social media to others working in this field has expanded my horizons and has allowed me to keep my ear to the ground on current research and best practice. However, this can only take you so far. This is why I enrolled in the Masters in Educational Technology program at UBC due to the fact that I believe it will allow me to become more of a contributor to the current dialogue and in doing so create more connections to foster further opportunities.
In Don Tapscott’s book “Growing up Digital” he speaks about the Net Generation coming of age and the newer Generation Z’s impact in our ever growing and connected world. These collective groups are scrutinizers that love to customize and personalize. The current approach we are taking is often times leaving these students behind and disillusioning others.
My goal is to help influence the change we need to encourage our students to see the abilities they have, and give them the skills to become successful citizens.