Lately I have been spending a lot of time researching and thinking about technology and its role in education and the role it is going to play in the future of our school. The more I read articles, research and ask questions the more I realize that the question is much bigger than just what tools and devices we are going to put in our classrooms. It is actually a question of rethinking how we teach in a world of digital learning when access to information is readily available at our fingertips. How do we best prepare our students for the skills they are going to need to thrive in their secondary, post-secondary education and beyond? How do we best train our students to sift through the wealth of information that is available to them in order to solve real world problems? What needs to happen in the layout of our classrooms, our approach to teaching to help students develop the 21stcentury skills of communication, collaboration, critical thinking and effective and efficient use of technology?
These are important and timely questions that we need to be asking ourselves as a school. I am the first to admit that I am an "old school” teacher. I believe that there are a lot of skills that need to be specifically taught. At the same time I am excited about the trends that I see happening in education. I think that ultimately that the key is found in balance. If we maintain elements of teacher directed instruction with the opportunities for students to collaborate, use technology, solve problems and communicate to a real and genuine audience then I think we will have found education at its best.