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The changes in Education with the onset of technology have been substancial.  This Blog is designed to be a catalyst for discussion, inviting differing views. We ask that you post with a respectful tone and if possible, substanciate claims with wesbite URLs and Resource links.

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The Most Innovative Global Educators

Posted on October 2, 2015 at 11:55 AM Comments comments (2)

With the onset of technology, the field of Education is experiencing nothing short of a total metamorphosis, amplified by the great divide between digital natives (those who were born into a technological society) and "digital aliens" (those born after technology became mainstream). Perhaps you have listened to Sir Ken Robinson on the changing paradigm in education. If not, click here: https /www.youtube.com/results search_query=sir+ken+robinson+paradigm.


Although may seem odd that computers are the impetus behind personalizing education, it appears that this is indeed the next generation trend. Please allow me to explain - with Skype in the Classroom and Internet accessibility, educators are able to connect students with classrooms across the globe, bringing cultural diversity into students' daily experience. Social media such as Facebook and Twitter keep digital natives aware of not only global news and events, but also the latest trends in technology development as well as family and friends' daily (even hourly) experiences. This seamless and immediate connection between individuals' lives has never before been available, making 'Generation X and Z' empowered beyond that which was available to previous generations. It appears our children are more self-aware and better informed about politics and world issues. Articles are being written about how the upcoming 'Generation Z' young adults who are just now entering the workforce, are not interested in pursuing careers that do not offer them a meaningful connection to 'self.' In other words, the 'Me Generation" has given rise to children who are very interested in connecting their purpose and personal interests to initiatives and companies whose mission aligns with their core values. Where previous generations dreamed of this potential and reluctantly acquiesced, subverting their core values in order to take jobs that paid the bills. So, what is the impact of being so well connected to one's local and global communities on today's learner? Consider the fact that news is obtained via cell phones on Patch, alerts broadcast "breaking news" keeping citizens informed of events as they happen. Students expect instantaneous gratification and traditional educational delivery is still structured as it was in the Industrial Revolution, read this, write this, answer this question.


In more dynamic schools (typically charter and private schools) Internet broadcasts, social media, Skype and other electronic formats engage today's learners more effectively. But, change happens ever so slowly. Expectations for interactive and personalized learning is at an all time high. Students expect teachers to not only be facile with electronic sources; they thrive when approached in this manner. However, many educators today have only marginal technological abilities and those that do use these more up to date delivery methods are still in the minority. It is this disconnect with having difficulty keeping up with the fast pace changes technology has had on education that create the current gap between how students learn best and policies such as No Child Left Behind structuring concepts such as Common Core Standards when ISTE has already published global standards.(http://www.iste.org/standards)


This raises the question about why we want educational standards in the first place. Is this because every school, country and child values standardized assessments? If so, why do we claim to be research-based, when Harvard University clearly published research claiming an inverse correlation between students who excel on standardized assessments and how these same students succeed after college graduation or in our working world? It is this disparity that lead educators to shift toward competency-based assessments.


Certainly this is a step in the right direction. So, as we educators adjust thinking from what we were trained to do in a pre-technological revolution pedagogy to a more dynamic and up to date methodology, the ground is fertile for global education reform which originates with a learner-centered focus. Perhaps this is why Sugata Mitra's TED talk on Building a School in the Cloud won the $2 million award: https://www.ted.com/talks/sugata_mitra_build_a_school_in_the_cloud?language=en " target="_blank">https://www.ted.com/talks/sugata_mitra_build_a_school_in_the_cloud?language=en 

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