I found Don Tapscott’s video titled “Four Principles of an Open World” enlightening. He spoke of two different types of change: change that occurs within yourself as a teacher as you evolve with the demands of technology and the needs of the 21st century learners and the second being the change in values in order to implement change. This video highlights the issues found in today’s technological advancing world, and the issue is just that. Technology is continually evolving and teachers and leaders find it difficult to evolve with it.
I have seen many cases in my short time as a qualified teacher where the older generation of staff whom are nearing retirement cannot be bothered to learn new innovative ways to teach through the use of technology. It’s as the saying goes, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks!” However, there have been the small select few where they are willing to adapt to the 21st century environment and become proficient in the use of ICT and integrate into their teaching and learning programs.
Don Tapscott’s highlights four key principles: collaboration, transparency, sharing and empowerment.
The “net generation” have been born into a society where technology becomes second nature. Students in classrooms today don’t know any different, they have probably never entered a classroom where there is no smartboard. We as “digital immigrants” are aware of this and in my experience are progressively catering for the needs of these students through the effective and proficient use of ICT. Because students are apart of this “net generation”, through the use of ICT students can collaboratively learn together and from each other. Social media is a powerful tool and if used appropriately can foster engaging and effective learning experiences. Students could use blogs and wikispaces to reflect on their learning as well as become involved in their peers learning experiences. This could also be used as an effective collaborative tool with the wider school community. Parents could become more involved in their child’s learning because they can access the teaching and learning content from home, if it was posted to one of these social media sites.
Don Tapscott’s speaks about transparency and how the digital age is a powerful tool to source a wide range of information. You can literally find out anything by accessing the world wide web. While this can definitely be used to the teachers advantage and it is most certainly a positive, there is also a risk. Students would need to be taught online etiquette, particularly as cyber bullying is growing. The librarian as the media specialist should take the lead role in ensuring students aware of their rights and responsibilities as well as the dos and don’ts and that teachers are kept up to date with the recent policies and procedures regarding the use of ICT and any amendments made to the code of conduct regarding this area.
Embracing change and being prepared to share our ideas and resources is another principle mentioned by Tapscott. Through the use of technology, we no longer have to constantly reinvent the wheel. There are many ideas, resources and programs that can be sourced on the internet simply with the click of a button. Pinterest and Facebook pages are becoming increasingly popular and programs are becoming increasingly creative due to colleagues coming together and openly sharing their ideas.
It is vital that the librarian shares their knowledge with the rest of the school community, as knowledge is power. If librarians wish to be respected by their colleagues (which seems to be a common battle within many schools) then the promotion of their qualified expertise, ideas, knowledge, innovative teaching and learning styles and engaging technology tools will assist towards changing the misconception of librarians just being “fill ins”.
In conclusion, through the use of Don Tapscott’s four principles, the library is then able to foster innovative and engaging teaching and learning experiences, support and guide colleagues in the use of ICT, promote collaboration as a school community and unify staff, students and the wider community to achieve success in a technological advancing world.
Don Tapscott’s ‘Four Principles of an Open World’, http://embed.ted.com/talks/don_tapscott_four_principles_for_the_open_world_1.html
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