A Search For Answers? ☆

| September 9, 2010

There is a certain inevitability to the deepening relationship between technology and education.  New educational models are imminent.

Real-time collaboration is possible with social-media technologies, the advent of internet publication and print-on-demand presses have expanded audiences, and new technologies have become increasingly pervasive in daily tasks.  Opencourseware, iTunes U, and the open educational resource movement are sharing high quality educational materials with anyone with an internet connection.  The ubiquity of the internet is forcing educators to rethink how students should be educated to navigate a world that is steadily moving online (http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm).

Statistics on high-speed internet access in homes (http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2010/Home-Broadband-2010.aspx) and rises in mobile phone and smart phone usage (http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2010/Mobile-Access-2010.aspx) signal trends for new skills and professions.  Created in 2008, this video gives a pretty shocking lay of the land (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-XsvfuS7os).  (Actually, with Facebook’s recent growth, their 500 million users would now constitute the third largest country in the world, between India and the United States.)  Technology use and access run along cultural and social lines (http://pewhispanic.org/reports/report.php?ReportID=124), which aligns technology education with educational projects for social justice.  Significantly, “Media and Technology” are now a part of the Common Core State Standards (http://www.corestandards.org/about-the-standards/key-points-in-english-language-arts) adopted by New York on July 19, 2010.

As an aspiring educator, I am filled with questions about current technologies:

  • How can technology help me be a more competent and efficient teacher?
  • How can technology to make my pedagogy more relevant to my students’ lives?
  • What tools are available to help me to prepare, organize, and collaborate with other teachers?
  • How can technology empower and awaken enthusiasm in my students?
  • What are some of the potential pitfalls of technology and education (e.g., the rise of plagiarism, online bullying, disconnectedness/lack of emotion)?

My research will focus on educational technologies, open educational resources, and interviews with current leaders in the field.  If we hope to be innovative and progressive teachers, we must find ways to educate students to become critical, competent, proactive, and humane contributors to our swiftly changing world.