Juana M. Sancho-Gil
Technological affluence, educational precariousness: a look at the last 20 years.
In the recent 20 years of instructional technology, everything that was said on technology belongs now to archaeology of technology, while what was said about pedagogy stands actual.
Some technologies are certainly not addressed to fulfil some existing needs, but do actually create new needs that come to existence once the new technology is widely adopted.
Do we understand everything that is happening in the field of technology?
Can we process all the information that is now available, that is now getting to us?
Who is the expert that will help us in finding a way through new technologies and information?
Certainly not today’s education, inflexible and aimed at marks and not learning.
New learners have multiple sources of information, and thus, they have new ways of learning. How is the educational system adapting to this new landscape? What should the educational system be doing?
- Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI) – Schooling for Tomorrow
- Innovative Learning Environments
- Escuela 2.0
Some of these initiatives — the latter, for instance — are suspicious of being more a technological initiative rather than a pedagogical one, which poses many issues on its legitimacy, its suitability, its sustainability, its expected impact, etc.
What has actually changed in the last years in the school?
There has been a huge increase on assessment, especially based on standardized tests, with some “collateral damages” (Nichols and Berliner, 2007).
And we still think more in technological terms rather than on pedagogical terms, and many of these times to be able to control students: webcams in the classrooms, “check in” software to know whether the student attended class, etc. Of course, this does not mean that the teacher should not be digitally competent, which should.
In most recent years, this has been accompanied by a global crisis and budget cuts everywhere especially in education.
An agenda for the 21st century education
Encourage students to:
- Understand and responsible participate in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) world.
- Continue learning throughout the whole life.
- Comprehend how knowledge interrelates. All knowledge is related to other knowledge(s).
- Be able to transfer knowledge and skills gained in one context into another one.
Some challenges to be met:
- Educate “symbolic analysts”.
- Consider the new forms of knowledge production, representation and transmission.
- Take into account the emergent contributions of the learning sciences and neurosciences regarding how people learn. And thus adapt our teaching to the findings of those disciplines, so to fit teaching with learning.
- Pay attention to the current diversification of ways and modalities of reading and writing (multiliteracies).
- Bear in mind learning experiences and a cultural background.
So, what technologies can help us in meeting these and other educational challenges?