I am 25 years old and live in Utah. Before that I lived in North Idaho in a city called Coeur d’Alene. I earned my associates degree there and then went to Colorado to study for a Bachelor’s degree but ended up only spending a semester before moving to Boise. I attended Boise State University and received my undergraduate degree in 2013. I took some time off then to travel and rock climb around the beautiful northwest. When I was offered a Graduate Assistantship at BSU’s EdTech program I decided to come back and get a Master’s Degree.
I enjoyed the Master’s program more then any schooling I have ever received. It was flexible but still challenging. It has opened many doors for me in my future and I always hope to keep growing.
We are all aware that in order to succeed in our 21st century, students, teachers, administrators, and workers alike must be able to navigate the online world. They must be able to solve the problems of the future. Teachers, accepting that it is their responsibility to prepare their students with life skills and knowledge, are becoming aware of this accelerating thought and are franticly trying to “future proof” their classrooms. (Zappa, 2012)
How do we prepare students to solve the unknown problems of the future?
Is technology the answer?
The George Lucas Educational Foundation states “Properly used, technology will help students acquire the skills they need to survive in a complex, highly technological knowledge-based economy.” No longer is a pen and paper enough to satisfy the creative thinker in our students. They grow up in a digital world with access to all of human knowledge at their fingertips, it is our responsibility as their teachers to show them how to navigate and use this knowledge to confront new problems, create innovative solutions and inspire our ever changing world.
Integrating technology into a classroom is not about what device or app the student is using, it is about the experience. It is about raising awareness, making connections, starting conversations, and finding answers. (Moroder, 2014) These are the skills that will allow our students to confidently confront any problem and be able to collaborate with experts all over the world to find a solution, the ideal 21st century skill.
Not only does technology integration prepare our students to solve the problems of the future it allows for teachers to “reach different types of learners and assess student understanding through multiple means”, keep students “engaged and on task, reducing behavioral problems”, and offer students different “opportunities for expressing understanding through images, sound, and text” (The George Lucas Educational Foundation, 2008).
With the ever accelerating human knowledge base at their fingertips and the experience and skills to know how to use it, our students will have the confidence to confront the ever-changing future.
If a “future-proof” problem solving classroom is what you aim to produce . . .
Technology Integration is the Answer.
The George Lucas Educational Foundation. (2007). Why Do We Need Technology Integration?. Edutopia. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/technology-integration-guide-importance
The George Lucas Educational Foundation. (2008). Why Integrate Technology into the curriculum?: The Reasons Are Many. Edutopia. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/technology-integration-introduction
Moroder K. (2014, January 9). Education Technology Integration: Vision, Framework, and Strategy. [Video File] Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C46A-5I7kRg
Zappa M. (2012, June 5). The Future of Education [Web Log Post]. Retrieved from http://www.michellzappa.com/blog/2012/6/25/envisioning-the-future-of-education