As a wrap-up to a technology integration course, we have been asked to write a “Big Rocks” blog that targets our key learning. If I had to pick one phrase that stands out above all others, it is “knowledge building.” I think technology has a hand in this. Yes, I know technology is and always has been just a tool. But when it comes to knowledge building, the social nature of technology today is in my mind, a game changer.
Because of the connectivity that technology gives us, knowledge building is now . . .
Continuous – It happens anywhere, anytime, on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, in blogs, wikis, websites . . .
Energizing – It provides feedback and responses to our thinking, often immediately, which moves knowledge forward.
Self-efficacious – It allows us to “put ourselves out there,” and the more we do that, the more we learn.
Constructivist – It helps us make connections to present and past learning to further the building of knowledge.
Democratic – It creates access to ideas and ways of thinking that were not always available to us.
De-institionalized –It happens outside of recognized institutions of learning.
Group based – It self-organizes groups, based on the topics, interests, and needs of the learners.
Technology as it exists today, sounds like a perfect fit for educational settings, whether they be institutionalized or not. And yet, in the past few weeks, I have had several conversations with colleagues about how many young, up and coming teachers are not buying into technology from a teaching and learning perspective.
Just the other day, I came across this tweet:
Finding lately some of the more harsher skeptics for using technology in schools comes from teachers under 35.
— Dean Shareski (@shareski) November 23, 2012
The ensuing Twitter chat posed many ideas as to why (fascinating . . . . I would recommend checking it out). I have no answers. But my question is this: If technology does enable knowledge building, which is, in my mind, a key to learning, where is the disconnect? And if young educators are not embracing technology, what does this mean for the future of education?