Michael Wesch discussed in his TED talk video From Knowledge to Knowledge-able the difference between knowing information and being able to find and create information. He begins to discuss current education and shows examples of his own class. In a prestigious university where world leaders are being cultivated; students are crammed 200 at a time in one room, the teacher has the microphone and is the one with the power and knowledge and students generally use the class time to check facebook statuses. This was my experience at UCSD, 400 students in one classroom listening to a person who claimed to be the expert shout facts and data to be memorized. These so called experts were enlisted with the job of training and preparing the next generation of experts without any instruction on how to be an effective teacher.
Society has seen a change with new technology. In the 1900’s, the person with the microphone had the audience and the audience was only able to listen. This style of technology facilitated a one way conversation. However, technology has enabled conversations to explode and transform. Using tools such as Twitter and Google, information can be shared, collaborated, evaluated and perpetuated in seconds. As an educator, it is my responsibility to teach students the skills they need to navigate an ever changing world. Students need not only the how to use but how to explore, create, and collaborate using technology at lighting speeds. In my classroom, I want students to see technology devices the same way they view a pencil and paper. Students can use a pencil and paper to play games, to write stories, communicate and translate thoughts into words. Students can use technology in the same way. Using interactive games students can explore concepts in a way that has been traditionally not possible in a classroom. Students can use Google Docs to express ideas, to translate thoughts and to collaborate with others.
My goal in education is to cultivate learners who are able adapt to any situation with any technology. In business, at any job level, employees are faced with changing policies, with new clients, new information and new tools. Employees are expected to interact and utilize technologies that are provided. Food servers needs to be able to use a Point of Sale system to coordinate orders with the kitchen. Maintenance employees are expected to work with varying chemicals, products and changing communication efficiency tools. Doctors are expected to understand the latest in medical research and utilize the newest and innovative treatments. No matter what job title, employees are expected to adapt. To cultivate a generation to be prepared for this work force, students need to be explicitly taught how to use resources to adapt and thrive in a constantly changing world.