Is Teaching Innovative in Digital World?
The digital age has transformed our lives completely, even the lives of our children, changing the new generation into a wild movement of millennials that are glued to any screen that they can find. Has this tech savvy demand on humanity innovated teaching our children, or has it simply digitized the old method? The question has an equal argument leaning towards both sides, however, we feel that in digitizing the world of traditional teaching we have not only created a brand new method of imparting knowledge that benefits stretch the bounds of any old modes of thinking, but have tapped into the very arms of evolution, changing the way that the mind grasps information.
According to a journal posted on PubMed Central, the US National Library of Medicine, adolescents have mentally evolved to embrace the fast paced influx of constantly renewed information. The mind has evolved to multitask at rates that would formerly impair the results but are now akin to a singular tasks efficiency. Not only are we being forced to evolve into grasping a large amount of information at the expanding rate at which it is being delivered, but we have also been given a global freedom to learn anything that we wish to learn. Collaboration is also something that was formerly limited to a classroom, or circle of friends, at most a library on the school premises. Now, worldwide information is freely available to anyone with access to the internet.
Not only do we have vasts amount of information available at our fingertips, but as parents and educators, we are starting to get used to revolutionary ideas such as the ActivTable from Promethean World. It looks like a snooker table if you covered it with a cloth, but with 32 multi touch points, it allows up to 6 children to work together simultaneously. The projects and the learning experience that is provided for the learners is unparalleled to former teaching methods involving any form of collaboration. A workstation such as this one is vital to learning new key elements that have before eluded us.
The benefits are many, the innovation is obvious, and the cost is that we either climb on the magic carpet of 1’s and 0’s and learn ourselves how to fly this new way of teaching a generation that is almost alien to any generation that has come before it, or we fall to the wayside and allow it to surpass us. The fact remains that regardless of the tech, we are still teaching. The methods may have changed but the demand is still the same. There is still a need for teachers to impart knowledge across an even larger multitude of platforms than before. Take Khan’s Academy, for example, the education is free and diverse, available globally to anyone who wants to learn, but they struggle to find enough educators who are willing to climb on the bandwagon and teach.
Even making your own video on YouTube and uploading it for your students or the world to learn from is another option available to teachers. Here the question of whether we have innovated or simply digitized traditional teaching methods becomes difficult to sway away from digitization. For the greater part, teaching still requires an intellectual mind who is able to guide students into a mode of thinking, able to share a particular subject’s deepest truths, and school a student. Only the platform has differed. The classroom has simply grown larger and in some cases far easier and less time-consuming. It takes an average of 30 minutes to record a lesson, the same lesson can be shown to thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of learners, whereas before a teacher would have to repeat themselves with every new batch of children.
The debate between innovation and digitization as far as teaching is concerned is in conclusion not yet ready for a concrete yes or no. With the rate of artificial intelligence entering the human scope, we may yet see true innovation where traditional methods of teachers being necessary to become null and void, but for now, it seems that an overall digitization and simplification of the traditional teaching methods is all that has taken place.
We are continuously being introduced to new technologies and innovative software but all that this has really done is sped up the process and enhanced the plateau of teaching for the world. It is not until the earth discovers a brand new way of implanting or imparting knowledge into the mind that we will not need one person to deliver and one or many to receive. That age has not yet dawned and so we agree to admit that we have only digitized the traditional teaching methods that we have all come to know.