I had the opportunity this last week to attend an administrators’ conference in KL. During the three days of the conference I was able to attend workshops on curriculum, administration, testing, and other important aspects of today’s international school.
One of the key note speakers for the conference was a well known gentleman named Alan November (www.novemberlearning.com). He has written articles and books in regards to the changes happening in our educational world because of technology.
What I appreciated about Mr. November’s talks was that he did not focus on technology being the main change agent in our schools or that technology would be the answer to better learning. Instead he challenged us with the idea that technology is creating a huge paradigm shift in how we can teach.
This change and shift is one that takes the control of learning from the teacher and is putting it into the hands of the students. Technology is changing our world at a frantic pace and one of the changes is that children can own more of their learning – that it is no longer the sole responsibility of the teacher to dispense information to students and be the center of the learning. The teacher instead becomes the guide to learning and allows the student to be more involved and self directed.
It is an amazing time in history to live. We are currently living through a revolution the likes of which we have not seen since the invention of the printing press in the 15th century. The revolution of the printing press was that everyone could learn to read. Prior to the printing press it was only a select few who got the opportunity to learn to read and write. We are now living through a similar revolution with the invention of the internet but this time what it means is that everyone can learn to publish.
Prior to the internet it was only those select few who could convince a publishing company to produce their work. Now it is possible to write stories, create music, develop videos, etc., that can be made available for millions of people to access. This technology creates new and exciting opportunities that can enhance our classrooms but we must be aware of them as a school and use them effectively. This is not an easy task and requires dedication and commitment by the teacher and the school.
We are living in an amazing point in history that is creating dramatic changes in so many aspects of our lives. It is an exciting time and yet can be quite scary too. It is important for a school like Dalat to understand how these changes affects not only what we teach but also how we teach and that we need to constantly pursue our goal of an education for our students that prepares them the for life ahead.