Some of you have seen the “Did you Know?” videos that are so prominent on Youtube and started in 2006. It almost sends chills up your spine with information of the rapidity our world is consuming knowledge, technology, and resources. You can’t quite control the fear that is created by the ominous, black, powerpoint-like video describing how much we rely on technology now. I’m not going to lie; my opinion was swayed until really thinking about the video 24 hours afterward.
With the exponential growth of technology, comes the exponential growth of information and expectancy to learn a multitude of skills and strategies. Learning new skills like information literacy is a new to all of us. After all, over 3 billion people use the internet now (2016). Imagine how much information there is to consume.
As educators, we are expected to help our students learn the skills to solve the problems of tomorrow (Madda, 2016). It is a little worrisome when the student surpasses the teacher, which happens quite a bit with technology these days. Even with a degree in technology, I sometimes feel behind and struggle to stay on task to help my students learn more about the world they are preparing to enter. But we, as educators, cannot let our strategies take a laterigrade movement while our technology exponentially grows and the need for our students’ minds to grow increases, right along with our anxieties about change.
In higher education my professional goal is to cast a wide net of impact, along with a deep connection to the students. Social media, the use of technology, and “meeting the students where they’re at” is what will help me achieve my goal of impact. Educators should be challenged, not discouraged, to switch tactics and look for the best strategies to help our students learn. Government and administration should be committed to investing the budget (without the additional legislation) and time for our educators to learn and stay up-to-date on best practices with efficient and effective use of technology. This is how our educational system will cast that wide net of impact and connect with each student on an individual level to ensure the preparation for the “real world.”
We should be committed to creating trainings on time-savers, effective uses of technology for learning and a culture of utilizing the most popular technology within our field. By sharing what we’re doing, and keeping everyone in the loop of the little time-savers and effective strategies, we contribute to the exponentially changing culture of education. Educators should search, practice and share knowledge of the technology that is utilized within education, while administrators should allow educators to train and learn more efficient uses of technology.
I agree and disagree with Ms. Jahana Hayes, the 2016 US Teacher of the Year. We have enough resources to grow our use of technology in education, but then we need the time and incentive to keep up with the fast-changing pace of technology. This way our students will learn by watching their teachers, professors and higher education staff be proactive and problem solvers, and in turn, replicate their actions and dedication to positive change once in the work force.