This is an exciting time to be in education!
Educators today grew up before the computer age (or as the computer age was beginning) and we are witnessing the transformation to the digital learning environment in our schools. We will forever be able to say, "We were there when...
- ...when our schools first got wireless internet
- ...when our students were allowed to use digital devices for the first time
- ...when we stopped using paper textbooks
- ...when we first used "blended" resources and then went totally online
- ...when we first allowed students to use cell phone as their "device" in school
As with most major transitions, we are struggling with developing new rules and preparing for new unknowns. Some of us are kicking and screaming our way to this new world of education; as other's of us can't run fast enough away from the past.
And (I think) the public is struggling with what they expect from us (the public schools) as well. Parents want their children to be prepared for the world that they will inherit. But, at the same time, many parents are more comfortable with the old paper textbook coming home every night; "ten math problems"; "read a section from the Social Studies textbook and answer the questions at the end of the section." They'll say, "That's what I did when I was in school...and I turned out just fine." While other parents are calling their child's principal and asking what device is permissible under BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)--so they can get it for their child for Christmas or for their birthday.
Yes, this is an exciting time to be in education. Our schools are getting Chromebooks for students to use. I met with a group of secondary mathematics teachers yesterday to talk about the new Techbook from Discovery Education. Teachers use their school websites to communicate with parents. And Google Apps For Education (GAFE) is all we ever talk about.
The transition is happening now. It's exciting! It's great! It's the right thing to do for our students. It is the way our students live--now. And it is the way they should be learning--now.