One of the most critical aspects of 21st-century education is the shift from an old model of teaching to a new model of learning (Thomas & Brown, 2011, ch. 2). This new model of learning builds capacity with an emphasis on the skills required to enable the learner to participate socially and culturally in a connected world. To support this engagement, learning theories such as Siemen’s (2004) connectivism and pedagogical applications of such theories such as Ito’s (2012) Connected Learning, aim to harness the affordances of knowledge networks to allow for an education that best serves students today, for future workforce demands. Educational institutions have been accused of ‘excess structure’ and failing to adapt to the current state of learning technologies that is in a state of constant flux (Thomas & Brown, 2011, ch. 3)
“The ability to engage with media and technology in an intense, aut omous, and interest driven way is a unique feature of today’s media environment. (Ito et al., 2008, p. 28). The need to develop an understanding of digital literacy – not as the ability to interact with technology, but as a composite of skills to allow for students to engage safely and productively online have never been more important. The focus from content seeking to information fluency is a new learning that teachers in our new digital age must embrace.
Taxonomies such as Bloom’s revised taxonomy, are required to guide educators who are integrating learning technologies. The creation of Starkey’s (2011) Digital Age Learning Matrix to assess the effectiveness of digital technology learning integration, is beneficial for the 21st century educator. I have developed a deeper understanding of technology integration as a tool to develop deeper understandings. Starkey (20110 outlined the need to evaluate how technology is being used to explore higher order thinking, similar to the revised Bloom’s Taxonomy, “…effective learning with ICT occurs when a teacher challenges students to think, which could be how learning occurs without the use of digital technologies.” (Starkley, 2011, p. 20). This belief also underpins how students in a digital age must be confident to “…make connections, understand concepts, critique, create and share knowledge.” (Starkey, 2011, p. 37).
In the current digital age where technology is in a state of flux, it is important for educators to understanding the nature of of change and potential issues of data storage, digital literacy and equity. INF350 as challenged my to reflect on current practices that I come into contact everyday in the schools that I visit. As many schools currently migrate from local servers to cloud based technologies, I still question the data security and sovereignty. Bollacker (2010) outlines that we must ensure even whilst we move to another storage solutions that we consider how that data will be retrieved, and that that can be viewed in the future.
Finally, the experience of creating a multi model essay on ‘Feedback in a Connected World’ (Maguire, 2017), as allowed me to research at length current research on feedback as a pedagogical tools. This research has challenged myself to explore and create using the participatory affordances of Web 2.0 tools such as podcasting, blogging and creating an online community. These new learnings and experiences have influenced a new understanding of why a growth disposition is required of an educator in today’s digital landscape.
Bollacker, Kurt D (2010) Avoiding a Digital Dark Age, American Scientist, 98, pp106-110.
Siemens, G., December 12, 2004. Connectivism: a learning theory for the digital age. Retrieved from http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/connectivism.htm
Starkey, L. (2011). Evaluating learning in the 21st century: A digital age learning matrix. Technology, Pedagogy and Education, 20(1), 19-39. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/10.1080/1475939X.2011.554021
Thomas, D., & Brown, J. S. (2011). A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change (Kindle iPad Edition). Retrieved from Amazon.com.