To continue to teach well into the 21st century, our teachers who began teaching in a kinder, gentler time have to rewire their brains to respond to the structures, functions and connections presented by technology. How else can they teach their students the literacies that education experts say are needed to be successful in the modern world?
On top of that, our teachers have to blend the new skills into the core curriculum. They cannot simply leave their students to aimlessly wander the information highway. The order is to lead the kids down that path in the context of a lesson in math, science, economics, language, arts, and so on down the hierarchy of subjects. The Department of Education’s list of K-to-12 learning goals, which necessarily translate into teaching goals, include basic, scientific, financial, technological, visual, information, media and multicultural literacies. Environmental literacy must be somewhere in there, too, because if it is not, we are in deep trouble.
The critics and cynics are shaking their heads. To begin with, our teachers do not even know which buttons to push. They have a lot of catching up to do because they are not hardwired for 21st-century hardware. How can teachers stay credible and legitimate when, in terms of digital developments, they are so far behind the students they are supposed to be guiding? continue reading