The bottom line, though, is not is what is in the best interests of the teacher, the administration, or the politicians. It is what is in the best interests of the learner. – Moving from Education 1.0 Through Education 2.0 Towards Education 3.0 by Jackie Gerstein
As history has shown us, education in general, is in a constant state of change. The rate of change might be slow but nonetheless there is change. There is however one permanent piece to the education puzzle. We will always have students to teach and there will always be learning to do. This I am certain will never change. However, from year to year those students walking through the door do change. Their skill sets, background knowledge and life experiences change. The society and world around them are constantly changing! It might be an understatement to suggest that our world changes fast. From one day to the next there is a new app, website or tool available to help with some function or need in our everyday lives. Not just for our students but for educators as well. After the discussion in our class this week I am still not sure I understand what web 3.0 is all about but I do feel i have a responsibility as a professional to learn about it. After all, my students are likely going to understand it before I do, so I best start now! I am a work in progress when it comes to web 3.0 but I found this video helpful as a starting point.
It would be naive to think that our students aren’t embracing the constant change that we live in! So why aren’t some of our classrooms doing the same, if as Gerstein suggests, students are the focus?
There is a place for tradition and the “that’s how we’ve always done it” mentality but I am not certain that that belongs in our schools. Simply throwing away and forgetting about the great things of years gone by isn’t realistic either. Take for example a mixed tape. Many of us would be able to go to that box in the basement filled with treasures from the past, pull out a mixed tape and instantly be taken back to a moment or place in time. We don’t want to throw it away but we also don’t want to go down to that box in the basement to pull out that tape every time we want to hear that one song. Also, how many of us would actually have the device to play that tape anymore?
Mixed tapes in their prime were great but do they serve a purpose today or do we have a better tool to accomplish the same end goal? Will the next tool work even better? The power of music has not been lost, it’s still full and well in our society but how that music is created and shared is much different. If musicians today wanted to be part of the music scene in an effective and lucrative way I would highly doubt they would be going around handing out and selling mixed tapes. They wouldn’t be able to reach their audience in the same way they would if they chose to share their music through online platforms while connecting with their target audience online.
Much like the history of how we hear music has changed, education is starting to do the same. The idea of teachers being the ‘sage on the stage’ doesn’t work any more. I would struggle to agree with someone who suggests it does. We live in a connected society and our schools need to start to reflect that.
1 million new active mobile social users are added every day. That’s 12 each second… – Marketing: 96 Amazing Social Media Statistics and Facts for 2016
If we continue to ask our students to come to school to “sit and get” we are putting them at a disadvantage for their future. We can’t expect educators to change their practice from what they have always known over night but I do think as a society we need to expect that our educators are showing a desire to grow.
We need to start to demand what’s best for our children. It’s not all out with the old in with the new, it’s a balance and a new opportunity. As Gerstein suggests in her article the evolution from web 1.0 to web 3.0 is reflective of the changes that we are seeing in education. However, those changes in education exist in very small pockets. There is always more to learn and we must never stop learning if we are asking our students to continue to be actively engaged in the learning process.
I have many questions around what happens when students have to move from a “sit and get” classroom one year to an active online classroom the next. Whether we are talking about web 2.0 or 3.0 I think the following questions are important:
- Are we doing right by our students if we let them sit in a “sit and get” classroom environment?
- Who is responsible for helping ensure that students remain the priority and that their education reflects the skills and tools they need for the society we are preparing them for?
- Who is responsible for preparing teachers to teach using the tools of today and tomorrow?
- Is it the teachers job to remain an active learner?
- Is it the employers job?
- When do the age old “it’s too much work” and “I don’t have the time”no longer become acceptable?
In consider myself to be an educator that strives to provide my students with opportunities that will prepare them for their future. Not for one job or another but to be someone that can actively engage, participate and give back to society. I strongly believe that we must engage them in a way that reflects the world they are growing up in. I believe this starts with the integration of web 2.0 building an understanding of web 3.0 and putting the web 1.0 back in the box in the basement!