I remember the day when I realized that everything had changed. I was introducing some ideas about sociology to a Grade 11 class and referred to a famous study of behaviour in public restrooms when I faltered and was unsure of the author’s name. Mason, my ever-eager student said, “Wait Miss. Let me check that for you!” At that very instant, as I looked out over the 21 students behind 21 laptops screens, I realized that I had become accountable to the truth and learning in a radical new way. When fact checking and information recall is one click away, teachers need to rethink how and what they teach. In the ‘Land of Google’ where students drink from the fire hose of information, teachers must ask the ‘killer questions’: Why is this important? How is this relevant? And what will they remember about this in five years hence?
When fact checking and information recall is one click away, teachers need to rethink how and what they teach. In the ‘Land of Google’ where students drink from the fire hose of information, teachers must ask the ‘killer questions’: Why is this important? How is this relevant? And what will they remember about this in five years hence?
Students in higher education have new choices today in how they learn. MOOCs and open courseware, online universities and blended classrooms were not on the learning landscape horizon only a few short years ago. The student (the consumer, the client) can access learning anywhere and personalize it. This fundamental shift in the availability of information made possible by the digital age is changing education. Schools, teachers and all stakeholders of the educational process need to see that the ground is shifting. Just as the music industry and the traditional paper press has had to reinvent themselves, so do schools and teachers.
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