Hello #ECI832’ers and beyond,
In my opinion, the title of my blog post this week as never rang truer…times are changing and we can’t fight it, we need to accept it and help those changing the most in these uncertain times to make mindful, safe and socially aware choices. My post this week is more of an opinion piece and a speculation of what the future might hold for the little ones I teach – what will their world look like? What will they value? How will they get educated and will it even be worth it to continue teaching them the way we are now? What will my position as a teacher look like? There are such an incredible amount of questions rolling through my mind around this topic. I was thankful to be able to view Bree and Danielle’s 2 part video, Kyla’s awesome presentation and Brittney’s informative screen-cast to help refresh my memory on the complexities around the idea of being a digital citizen. Although the definition of a digital citizen according to a compiled view on Wikipedia, “refers to a person utilizing information technology in order to engage in society, politics, and government as well as someone who uses the Internet regularly and effectively” is to the point, it is also extremely broad and too overarching. How I use the internet and technology as a digital citizen is not the same as the way my kids in school use it, nor how will they use it as time passes.
As I was tooling through everyone’s blog posts from this week, I stumbled on Staci’s and she was posting on the article from the 2020 Future Work Skills Report and it had me intrigued to look a little further, and truly consider the skills our youth will need as they grow up and how this may influence what my classroom (should I get to keep it 😉 ) will look like in the future. They identify the top 10 skills youth will need to know as they move into the workforce and beyond. They identify these ten skills as sense-making, social intelligence, novel & adaptive thinking, cross-cultural competency, computational thinking, new-media literacy, transdisciplinarity, design mindset, cognitive load management, and virtual collaboration. More or less, although other curricular areas are useful and will likely still be included for many, many years to come as education takes a long time to change and catch up, it my duty as a teacher to be doing more to ensure my kiddos leave me as critical thinkers, multi-taskers, digitally literate, cultural responsive citizens. I believe, especially after reading this report, that these types of skills will be what get our youth jobs and positions of change in our society. It is not enough to memorize and regurgitate anymore – there is too much information. We need the skills to find the answer and adapt to it, rather than just knowing it.
Alec posed the question, “what kind of world are we preparing kids for?” Never have I heard a more loaded question…it’s impossible to predict exactly, but all I know without a doubt is that it will absolutely not look like the world I grew up in. The world is changing faster than I would like to admit and there are consequences (both good and bad) that will come with it. Our youth are growing up with their world’s rose coloured, through the filters of social media. They are sunshiney and perfect online even when things are not so IRL. Social media is forcing youth to compare themselves to one another whether they are trying to or not. I stumbled across an article that featured a Common Sense Survey called, “Children, Teens, Media and Body Image” that asked kids what they are most stressed about online and it showed it was mostly related to how they will be perceived – showing girls being most vulnerable. Some of the most interesting information was:
- 35 percent are worried about people tagging them in unattractive photos.
- 27 percent feel stressed about how they look in posted photos.
- 22 percent felt bad about themselves if their photos were ignored.
Scary stats when applied to the question, what are we preparing kids for? The article goes on to show how differently children receive feedback now – likes, shares, number of views, “hot or not”, “pretty or ugly” videos, etc. This is a huge change that we need to prepare kids for so that they can handle and wade through the barrage of information thrown their way – both about themselves and their world.
This is a lot to process I find it very overwhelming. My sincere hope for the future is that people learn to be good people both on and offline. Knowledge truly is power and I think teachers need to stay on top of the technology so that we can teach kids to be responsible digital citizens, even if they are technically literate.
Thanks so much for reading…sorry if that was a bit of a ramble, I had so much going through my head!
“Educating the mind without educating the heart,
is no education at all.”