Thursday, January 27, 2011

Educators' Role in an ICT World

Today Dr. Glen Gatin presented on the role of educators in a networked world. His main point reflected that in a world where technology is constantly changing and evolving, it is absolutely essential that teachers become experts in Information and Communication Technology (ICT). More and more of the economy revolves around intangible products and information that are built, exchanged, bought, sold, and shared via ICT. This means that because one of the goals of education is to equip its students to enter the job market and create a vibrant, successful economy, teachers cannot avoid technology and must remain cutting edge rather than archaic in this realm.

Modern technology gives students access to more information at any point in time than a teacher could ever know or care to know. Consequently, the tradition role of a teacher as being the expert in the classroom has changed. Teachers today are asked to coach, guide, and model how to aggregate, filter, connect to, and develop proper attitudes towards the great plethora of information available through technology. Instead of giving students the answer, teachers are now asked to model how to learn. For example, in alternative to presenting specific problems and giving the students the solution step by step, teachers need to give students large problems with multiple approaches to multiple solutions and model how to go about retrieving answers using ICT. Through this process, students will learn to monitor their own learning and start thinking about problems from many angles with many solutions. This is the skill that the "real world" will ask of students in their future. Teaching students meta-cognitive skills while using ICT will allow them to become successful in the future.

If you want more information about ICT ideas and tools teachers can use in the classroom, here is a link to Dr. Glen Gatin's course wiki.

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