I believe there will be many technology challenges in the future within the context of education . . .
A main challenge that I can safely say I have seen by example, is the constant struggle of many teachers, attempting to keep up with skills required as technology evolves so rapidly. When we look back to our own education, and think back to how technology has evolved so quickly till the present, we can definitely reflect on how it has occurred so quickly.
I reminisce about the early days in high school when I could access the internet, and access basic web pages on the dial up speed connection with excitement. I now walk into a classroom where student’s are happily creating powerpoint presentations, utilizing graphics from the school’s high speed intranet. Teacher’s appear to be coping at present times, but what will the implications be for them in the future? With such quick developments in the technology we all view future possibilities as extravagant, virtual world creations that will change society. Will our teachers of tomorrow be able to keep up?
With this, we also come to the issue of asking the question “but how does this enhance learning?” Now it seems that a large emphasis on technology in classrooms has emerged. And with this more questioning into the actual usefulness of technology in the educational setting. It seems that the dangers with such emphasis is leading towards a focus on skill acquisition, and ‘preparing children for the future’. I believe teachers and school systems need to take a step back, and have a think about whether such a focus is necessary in education, and hopefully notice its differences from enhancing learning. With what I see as an ever increasing emphasis on technology in the classroom in the future, this predicament will become an increasing challenge in education.
Other common and more global issues will also continue to be a challenge in the future as they are today. Censorship and privacy are just a few examples. Just visiting Google maps, typing in your address, and selecting street view in the caption bubble that appears is a clear indicator of this. Try this by clicking on the following picture. Hint: type your address in the format – your street address, your suburb, NSW, Australia
When reflecting on my practicums in k-6 classrooms, it seems that while teachers are busy attempting to keep up with technology, the students seem . . well . . fine! In watching the video in our first lecture it was not hard to miss the student’s displaying examples of the latest technologies such as wikis. (scroll down to review video clip). And from what I have observed in my teaching experience so far, the young minds of today are quite capable of learning the skills to use these tools as well as use them to enhance their learning. From watching kindergarten happily using paint to year six using publisher, powerpoint, and word for class presentations with ease, I leave you this question:
Perhaps teacher’s are not attempting to keep up with emerging technologies, but instead attempting to keep up with their student’s?