As a new episode of My Teacher is an App airs on BBC Radio 4, Edward Lawless urges teachers to embrace digital technology in the classroom – however frightening it seems
No matter what the conditions may be – online or face-to-face – the quality of the educational experience depends on the integrity of the curriculum, the teacher and the learning community.
That said, it's normal that teachers and leaders find the integration of online technology in education frightening. First of all, our generation of "digital immigrant" teachers must shift out of our comfort zone and into the world of our "digital-native" students. Second, it requires bricks-and-mortar schools to take a leap of faith into a medium that's essentially an unknown world. They have to let go of the familiar model that we hold dear – not necessarily because it works so well, but because it's what we know so well – to embrace an educational medium that many of us don't use, don't understand and don't trust. Third, and most importantly, it requires us to shift the power of learning from the teacher to the student; to become the facilitator for learning rather than the deliverer of knowledge and in so doing, to let students lead their own learning. That is a very disturbing prospect for many educators – and parents – because it's all about relinquishing control and taking risks.
But the internet is a natural part of students' lives and for many of them it has been that way since before they could walk. It's their natural environment for watching movies and TV programmes, accessing music, communicating with friends and organising their daily lives. It's not surprising that these digital natives don't consider online learning as such a risky venture. The internet already empowers our students with unprecedented educational access in ways that we could never have foreseen as teachers in training. The question is – how are we teaching them to use that power?
#Spanish #Online; blended learning programs for children and teenagers: www.spanish-school-herradura.com/online-spanish