It's here! It's now!
We do not have to throw out the baby with the bathwater, but we do have to incorporate new teaching tools into our everyday instruction. I took these two pictures this summer. One was at a restaurant in Southern Massachusetts. Not only was this child engaged and quiet while his parents enjoyed their meal, but so were his two siblings. I have to admit I have mixed feelings about this, but I am hoping that the parents only occasionally use this method of keeping kids "happy" while they eat in peace. You might equate this to sitting kids in front of the t.v. set and ignoring them. Does it make it better if the parents have the kids engaged in positive learning activities???????? I know I used that excuse for my kids watching Sesame Street.Many folks worry how being so engaged in these technologies takes away from interacting with family and friends. However, few object when a youngster spends a number of hours reading.
The other picture was taken at a wedding reception held at a home in CT. I am sure that after a number of hours, keeping this young man entertained while his parents continued to enjoy the party and socialize might have been tough. He doesn't look bored,however, does he? And he's learning!
Getting back to my title. I believe the pictures above emphasize that we are working with kids who are learning 24/7 but who still need guidance in how to use these tools in a responsible manner. Our students need to be prepared for the 21st century workplace. Chief among these skills is learning "how to learn."
I belong to a group called "Art Snacks" hosted by a fantastic educator by the name of Kevin Hunnicut. He invites folks to his site to add art work, photographs, instructional videos, etc - all with the intent of having folks learn from each other. Recently, he revised a song called "I Need My Teachers To Learn." While some may take issue with criticism of current teaching methods embedded therein, it's still important to watch and reflect on this video.