Growing up in the 70s and 80's I can recollect with ease what I perceived to be monumental technological advances. Back then when a new device, gadget, or electronic was introduced it was coupled with a sense of amazement. I can actually recall the details surrounding the circumstances. Yes, I remember vividly getting a compact disc player (the first cd I purchased was Born To Run), a VCR (the first show I recorded was Days of our Lives, for my sister, I swear!) and a cordless telephone (the first person I called was my childhood crush who I dare not name because she is a teacher and may be reading this blog).
Perhaps it's because so much is coming at us so fast or maybe it is because I now experience the world as an adult, but the same cannot be said of the technological advances that I have experienced over the past decade. Rather than announce their presence, the innovations I take for granted today have seeped into my life without fanfare and are not associated with any specific memory.
So, what does this have to do with learning in the 21st Century?
As educators we must recognize the profound difference between reaching the mind of a 10 year old who was in awe of a television remote control and a 10 year old who is carrying the world in the palm of his hand.
Although we are impressed, we are no longer surprised by the latest and greatest technological advances. This has caused a fundamental shift in how learners view the world and more importantly how we view learning.
Ten Things I Did Today I Couldn't Have Imagined Doing 10 Years Ago
- I used Google Hangout to talk to my son who is away for the week
- I used Facebook to share information with relatives in Italy
- I read Tweets from educators from around the world
- I downloaded and began reading, VJ: The Unplugged Adventures of MTV's First Wave
- I went on You Tube and watched the original MTV broadcast that was referenced in the book
- I uploaded this post to my blog
- I listened to music on my iPod
- I used a GPS to get from Philadelphia to New York City
- I uploaded dates on to my Google calendar
- I paid bills and made a deposit online