Light Offerings

Where do schools go in the Digital Age?

Posted by jturner56 on May 4, 2013

Readings this past week or so brought together two core questions for me

  1. Are we in a Digital Age?
  2. If so what are the characteristics needed for schools?

Depending on your answer to the first question, you will read what follows in different ways. From my perspective I believe we are in a Digital Age and this has important ramifications for schools, teachers and learning values. I may not be as radical, revolutionary, or transformative as some others, and I’ll leave calls for fundamental rethinks to them, but I do feel what schooling for a Digital Age needs to encompass is already before us.

From a personal perspective, I see Digital Age Schools as needing

  • an at-hand ubiquitous network
  • instant availability of information requiring new emphases on information literacies
  • an evolving curriculum that builds into and onto cognitive development greater commitments to global cultural understanding as well as local social learning
  • development of personal learning networks (PLNs) reflecting interconnected values
  • appreciation that all students have much to offer to advance their own learning and the learning of others
  • commitment to lifelong learning attributes as more than convenient words, for teachers and students
  • an appreciation of the realities of Digital Citizenship; individual differences can be amplified by digital tools and environments for good and bad (like all tools).
  • understanding how digitally produced information feedback systems can be used to enhance teaching and learning
  • commitment to a balanced approach to learning, play and communication that appreciates the affective, the physical and the cognitive
  • understanding that contextual learning is more powerful with digital technologies and the personal attuned to this

In all this the computer is a learning machine; for personal learning constructions, learning connections and development of literacies relevant to the Digital Age. How far such a learning opportunity will be allowed to take us is still before us.

Evolution will be more dynamic than the hierarchically structured past allowed, but much that was valued in the late-industrial era that spawned the digital age will still be valued (including integrity, persistence, focus, flexibility, purposeful creativity). Change speeds though are amped up and specializations are as much about the team as about the individual. The Digital Age is both hyper-individualistic and hyper-connected.

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2 Responses to “Where do schools go in the Digital Age?”

  1. Always giving us good food for thought! We’re still plugging away here trying to establish a straight forward scope and sequence for our PYP students in ICT or IFL whichever you prefer to call. Thanks for sharing the light offering!

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