Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Ever Changing World of Teaching

Teaching these days has changed so much.  Not to sound old, but when I went to school we had three computers in the class that we got to use for ten minutes a day in a rotating schedule if we behaved.  Technology has advanced so much since then.

 Every single student in my classes have smart phones.  This means that the students can get any information anytime they want.  This poses a huge problem for us teachers.  As a science teacher it is hard enough to explain to the students why it is important for them to memorize the periodic table (just an example-not that I do this).  When something like this is assigned I hear the groans...I'm never going to use this they say.  Now that the students have instant access to anything they want on the periodic table it makes my job harder.  Now it is not "why do I need to know this?", but rather, "I don't need to know this because I'll be able to get the information any time I want".   This means that we cannot ask students to memorize anymore, they're just not going to do it.  Not only do they find it annoying but they also know that they can have the information anytime they want, thus, reducing their effort even more.  This means we need to do more than ask them to memorize or learn things.  This is especially difficult for me as a science teacher because science is built on the basis of facts.  What needs to be done is teach complex thinking skills as well as teaching students how to get the answers they want.  Since all information can now be found on the internet it is more important to teach the students how to search for the answers (what questions to ask) to get the answers they're looking for. 

 Our jobs as teachers are changing as drastically and rapidly as technology which means we need to keep up or be left behind.  The students are not going to learn if we ask them to memorize things, we need to accept that and find a new way to teach them how to be successful in the new and changing world. 

1 comment:

  1. "Keep up or be left behind"

    Growing up my dad always said 'the only that never changes is that everything changes'

    Education lasted a long time without any significant change, it's finally happening, but all at once.