At one point teachers had to collect bubblegum from students before they walked into classrooms. Then it was calculators. Now we are having them take up cellphones. The next thing will probably be their glasses once Google Glasses become affordable. And when they move on to contact lenses? Implants in their heads?
At some point, we will realize that you just can’t keep technological aids out of the learning process. Some day (soon), entire countries will guarantee Internet access and a device to access it with for every person living in their borders. It probably won’t be too long before someone creates the technology to sustain a global 12G bubble around the entire planet.
So when connection is everywhere, and devices to stay connected are a part of our glasses/contacts/body – will we finally see the end of the fight to keep them out of the classroom?
Probably not. We will most likely see school leaders creating technology to block, scramble, or filter the connection.
So what is the solution? Go back to the basics. Not with technology – with teaching. We have known for decades and even longer what teaching strategies work. The kicker is that these age-old concepts will still work even if students become constantly connected to the Internet: teaching them to apply concepts, to think critically, to actively engage instead of passively soak up knowledge, etc. If we change teaching now, we will be ready for anything that technology throws at us.
(FYI – This change does not start with the teachers. They are forced to teach to the test or lose their job. We have to start with ditching the requirements and admins that force teachers to teach that way.)
All I have to say is – I should have patented my “computer in a pair of glasses” idea a long time ago. I could be rich! Oh, wait – Google Glasses aren’t for sale yet. Well, I could have the possibility of become rich someday in the future….
Matt is currently an Instructional Designer II at Orbis Education and a Part-Time Instructor at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Previously he worked as a Learning Innovation Researcher with the UT Arlington LINK Research Lab. His work focuses on learning theory, Heutagogy, and learner agency. Matt holds a Ph.D. in Learning Technologies from the University of North Texas, a Master of Education in Educational Technology from UT Brownsville, and a Bachelors of Science in Education from Baylor University. His research interests include instructional design, learning pathways, sociocultural theory, heutagogy, virtual reality, and open networked learning. He has a background in instructional design and teaching at both the secondary and university levels and has been an active blogger and conference presenter. He also enjoys networking and collaborative efforts involving faculty, students, administration, and anyone involved in the education process.