We are now living in the digital era of the 21st Century, a changed world, immersed in information and communication technology (ICT) which is shaping and empowering the children that are born into it, described as ‘digital natives’ originally by Marc Prensky (2001). We as educators have a responsibility to change and adapt to the needs of this new generation, and quickly.
This clip by http://thecenterofthenet.com (2011) helps explain this.
Daily tasks and activities that we learned and lived, have been replaced with technology solutions, such as digital tv, mobile phones and social media, and continue to evolve at an unprecedented rate. “Many studies have tracked the advances of many different measures of information technology . . . the future continues to come faster than we traditionally expect.” Taylor G. (2014). The speed of change is also highlighted by the prediction in the above clip that technology will experience 20,000 years of growth this century.
Educators are faced with increasing demand from students, parents, employers and the wider community who are digitally expectant. Howell, J (2012, p. 6,7) This means we have a responsibility, as well as an exciting opportunity, to continue to embrace a wide range of technology tools within the education system, in order to prepare children for the future and provide lifelong learning.
Prensky, M (2008) speaks of the need to engage in creative solutions, in particular sharing and collaborating with students. “Today’s students are no longer the people our education system was designed to teach.” Prensky, M. (2013) spoken from clip below published by Lunch Box School
Prensky, M (2013) discusses how today’s students are different to us because they were brought up with access to large amounts of ICT and consider it the foundation of everything they do.
The digital world provides the ability to connect globally, offering a collaborative environment where students can engage in projects that are relevant to the world around them, creating solutions to current issues together, all over the world. An example of this, is the 21st Century Schools initiative directed by Anne Shaw http://www.21stcenturyschools.com/about.htm