This week’s blogger is former NEC GCSE English student Naila Din. Now a freelance arts advisor and business coach, Naila turned to teaching as a second career after studying graphic design at university and working as a graphic designer in the world of web design before embarking on a career in education. Her enthusiasm for education and the integration of technology into the classroom prompted her to further develop her knowledge in this field with a Masters in Digital Media, with a particular focus on the future of education. This blog post is the second of two about the impact of technology in the classroom and looks at what technology means for teachers. The first post can be found here: https://www.nec.ac.uk/blog/2017/10/05/teachers-technology-and-future-learning
Impact of technology on teachers
It's the 21st century, a time when research, such as Buckminister Fuller’s ‘Knowledge Doubling Curve,’ has led to estimates that people’s knowledge is doubling every 12 months from generation to generation (Carolyn Gregoire writes in her article for the Huffington Post ‘Is Human Intelligence Rising With Each Generation?'); yet we still hear news such as ‘Iran has decided to ban teaching English to its students from FEAR of losing its culture, or Apple controlling its consumers by slowing down older iPhones.’
There has been some debate around teachers confiscating pupil’s phones, banning them from the classroom and asking whether they’re vital for learning. A professional lawyer told me recently that his word of the year is focus, this got me thinking. It got me thinking about the generations to come who have fewer opportunities to truly master the skills of people who are highly successful today, because of technology like mobile phones and computer games.
We are at the beginning of a revolution where future generations will be increasingly immersed in technology. Technology is growing in ways and speeds even the inventors can’t comprehend, let alone prepare students for. Technology which is likely to become obsolete by the time students are ready to embark into the world of work. This blog is not about whether mobiles phones should or should not be confiscated, but it is about an opportunity to look at things in a different way – to ‘Think Differently’ as one major computer company put it.
With these realities, each generation is learning about technology from its children. Are we not? Instead of confiscating, banning or trying to restrict mobile technology in the classroom, could it be better to address fears head on, by looking at the behaviour and teaching our students about the skills needed to get ahead? In my opinion, this can only be done by working with students to create opportunities for mobile technology to be utilised on projects and by making learning more like the real world, something that Vicki Davis offers her students and shares with other teachers at http://www.coolcatteacher.com/
If we asked students do they wish to be ‘successful’ I am sure 90% would have a vague idea of what success would look like, with others having no idea at all. Times are increasingly changing. People are moving from opportunity to opportunity to expand their lifestyles. In my opinion it is an ideal time for educators to teach the skills that lead to success, regardless of what that success might be for the future of our students.
‘Success comes from learning how to create a deep, laser focus’ says Richard St. John ‘and mobile phones are designed to be distractive and disruptive.’ Richard spent over a decade teaching students what leads to success. ‘Focus’ is one of the eight traits he talks about that are common in successful people, regardless of their environmental and social background. https://youtu.be/77RubAueWjg
Teaching and developing skills that empower students to become independent-learners and take ownership of their passions, desires and imaginations would allow for an education system which grows and morphs as technology continues to change the world of work and the future of education. Students would themselves equipped with skills that will serve them throughout their life. Skills that are purposeful and meaningful.