“Any teacher that can be replaced by a computer, deserves to be,” said David Thornburg. I couldn’t agree more, as technology is not a replacement for human intelligence, relationships, and critical thinking. The ability to effectively utilize technology is critical to students’ college and career readiness. However, it is essential that technology enhances, not replaces, instruction and learning.
Recently I attended the Washington State School Directors’ Association’s Annual Conference. One keynote I heard referenced the jobs we are preparing students for today. The skill set employers found desirable in 1970 and the skill set employers found desirable in 1999 are drastically different. In 30 years we had moved from the most important skills being taught being reading, writing and math to the most important skills being taught being teamwork, problem solving and interpersonal skills.
But 1999 was 18 years ago (even though it feels like I was listening to *NSYNC on CD just last week!). 18 years is an incredibly long time in the world of technology. The World Economic Forum did surveyed employers in 2016 about the most important skills employees will need in 2020. They found these skills to be complex problem solving, critical thinking and creativity. We are teaching students of the future so we have no way of knowing exactly what skills today’s 1st graders will need, but we can predict problem solving and creativity to top the list. The use of technology is the way to get students there.
The reality is we must reach mastery of CCSS and NGSS through technology. It’s not enough to simply have or use technology. When it comes to moving our own technology use, and that of our students from substitution to redefinition of learning, it is not just nice if we can, but essential that we do. Carina explained the SAMR model and her experiences with technology here.
With the adoption of new education technology standards (The most recent ones in Washington State were adopted in 2008 so I open new and thorough expectations with open arms!), teachers have guidance for how to implement technology into their classrooms.
How are you integrating technology and teaching the skills students need in the future in your classroom?
I grew up here in Western Washington, wanting to be a teacher for as long as I can remember. As the oldest child in my family, I had plenty of opportunities to "practice" teaching my younger siblings. I enjoyed this. They may not have. :) When I'm not working, I enjoy outdoor activities with my husband and our two Australian Shepherds (whom are far too spoiled for their own good!). I also love spending time with my family, being an auntie (to the cutest kids ever to grace this planet!), hosting dinner parties for friends, crafting, taking photographs and shopping.