Dig this: “If you have a child entering grade school this fall, file away just one number with all those back-to-school forms: 65 percent. Chances are just that good that, in spite of anything you do, little Oliver or Abigail won’t end up a doctor or lawyer — or, indeed, anything else you’ve ever heard of. According to Cathy N. Davidson, co-director of the annual MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning Competitions, fully 65 percent of today’s grade-school kids may end up doing work that hasn’t been invented yet.” *
Whoa! Wow! Yikes! Yowzaa! This isn’t Batman, Robin, this is the 21st Century. A technology tidal wave is upon us. Now remember, it’s just a tool - just like a pencil - but utilized during the teaching and learning process, it is a phenomenally complex tool for students to use to communicate, connect, and collaborate in new and even more meaningful ways. So much for the pencil analogy. Some feel schools will become immaterial unless they gravitate to these emerging technologies and employ them to better understand today’s learners. Many new educational leaders such as Eric Sheninger, a connected principal and the subject of a recent article in USA Today on social media in the classroom, think so. I tend to agree with him.
In the coming weeks, I am preparing to engage the Middle School in a conversation about becoming a school of the future - a 21st Century institution of teaching and learning. With a change in mindset and administrative support, as well as a host of digital tools, including social media, this can happen. In fact, it must. Yowzaa!
* From “Education Needs a Digital-Age Upgrade” By VIRGINIA HEFFERNAN August 7, 2011, 5:30 PM