As I continue to develop as an educator in this constantly-changing field, there are several ideas that would further my ability to adapt and change, as well as that of my students. To begin with, learners need to explore subject matter through the act of creation rather than consumption. In addition, the ability to be articulate over a variety of media has made communication skills more important. Furthermore, as learning is a social construct, my students and I need the ability to be continuous, collaborative learners.
The near-ubiquity of mobile technology has produced new avenues of expression. Consumption of information is no longer a priority, as it is perpetually accessible. Permeating our society is a new facility with producing media, and students’ skillful exploration of subject matter through creation will allow cultivation of an ability to produce content that others will curate. Ours is now a participatory culture, and a facility with content creation will allow students to have a hand in shaping the flow of media, and with it the perceptions of others.
A second critical tool is the ability to communicate. As learning is a social construct, the traditional model of schooling is becoming more collaborative. Thus, effective communication is crucial. Assets for participation abound, making glob al collaboration with digital tools inevitable. Those with the strongest set of collaborative skills will have an advantage in this arena, able to leverage technology to accomplish goals.
Our educational system should be one in which students develop critical thinking skills coupled with the ability to solve problems alone and collaboratively. Freedom to think in lieu of memorization should be commonplace. We need to internalize that learning is for our own personal fulfilment, and to become inventive and capable problem solvers. Important, too, is that teachers continue learning and growing.
I envision my students producing content for a variety of purposes, communicating effectively, collaborating with others, and solving problems they encounter or design. These skills, coupled with my commitment to education and personal growth will directly influence my students as they embark upon their learning careers.