It is amazing how technology has changed the whole world giving rise to new forms of education we never thought of. Our students are more digitally focused than any time before. They spend more time interacting with their mobile devices than they do with their parents or close relatives. Admittedly, this digital boom has both positive and negative impact on our students. Lack of concentration, short attention span, distraction, visual stimulus overload, identity theft, lack of real world socializing, privacy issues, depression, and many more are but a direct result of the growing exposure to this technology. Studies have even proved that multitasking, which some educational technology experts brag about in relation to the use of today’s technology, reduces the power of our concentration to the half. We should not, However, only look at the empty side of the cup, the other side is way bigger.
There are actually several pluses for the use of technology in education and to try and list them all here is way beyond the scope of this short post. Generally speaking, no two argue over the fact that technology advantages in education ( and in our life at large ) way outnumber its downsides. It is thanks to technology that you are now reading this post and will probably share it with your colleagues.
There is no blinking the fact that the type of students we teach today are completely different from last century’s. We , definitely, need to look at some of the skills we, as teachers, need to equip ourselves with to better live up to the challenge. Among all the challenges we would have in education, there is not as daunting a challenge as catching students focus and getting them engaged in the learning process. For this particular reason, and in addition to the skills I initially mentioned in 21st Century Teaching Skills article, I would like to provide you with another list of some equally important digital skills that you, as a teacher, need to seriously consider if you want to pave the way for the 21st century teaching. I have added a list of web tools under each skill for teachers to better exploit it.
[Great list (and associated resources) – how many are you OK with?]