Students of tomorrow, from yesterday

As part of the efforts to link and connect people virutall during these lockdown and home-working times, I’ve been inolved in a new initiative to link parents together. The idea is for an informal ‘group’ to chat and share tips with each other onhow we’re coping and supporting our children with home schooling.

The first discussion took quite a sharp right turn when some of us started to lament the way our kids have been shown and taught long division. The standard “that’s not how I was taught” and “can anyone explain why long-division doesn’t work anymore?” came up, which made me think of one of my old posts … from 2013 no less!

Thinking Creatively was about a piece I’d read from Anthony Chivetta, written in 2008. You’d think we would have learned and moved on from this by now, wouldn’t you? I shared this section of his post with the group:

“The need to know the capital of Florida died when my phone learned the answer. Rather, the students of tomorrow need to be able to think creatively: they will need to learn on their own, adapt to new challenges and innovate on-the-fly. As the realm of intellectual accessibility expands at amazing rates (due to greater global collaboration and access to information), students of tomorrow will need to be their own guides as they explore the body of information that is at their fingertips. My generation will be required to learn information quickly, use that information to solve new and novel problems, and then present those solutions in creative and effective ways. The effective students of tomorrow’s world will be independent learners, strong problem solvers and effective designers.”

Anthony Chivetta. 2008

We’ve had enough time now to think and reflect on our teaching. Technology has continued to advance and the workd in which our school leavers are entering has changed too. Access to a reliable internet connection is still not a global feature, but it’s getting better. For many the number of internet enabled devices they have access to or own has increased (phones, tablets, games consoles, TVs, etc) but we’re not really doing much in school to maximise their use in the learning.

Or are we? I’m happy to be shown examples where students, of any age, are being encouraged to use the device and the ‘always-on connectivity’ to better and further the learning experience.

Photo by Jesse Martini on Unsplash