Sunday, May 24, 2015

How Teaching Has Changed Since 1988

I began teaching first graders in 1988 and it's just incredible how the world has changed.  I had a desktop computer with floppy disks, shelves with dictionaries and encyclopedias, and there was no internet. Today that information is available in seconds with a quick search on a cell phone.

The immeasurable impact of technology on my profession is daunting. As a Reading Specialist of a primary school with students in grades pre-kindergarten,  kindergarten, first and second grade, how can we prepare students for such a rapidly changing world?

It's difficult to even imagine the jobs they will have when they are adults so I began reading everything I can find on how to best prepare my students for the future. Today's children are natives to this digital world and very comfortable with technology. Using technology will never be an issue for them. So what can teachers do to prepare children for the jobs of tomorrow?

From everything I've read and as an educator with almost 30 years of experience, I believe that the most important strategies children will need to be successful in the future is anaylzing, synthesizing, and metacognition.  Basically, they have to learn to think and solve problems.  Applying what they know to new learning will be an essential skill so educators and parents need to provide opportunities for these processes.

With that in mind,  I tried some new activities with my students that seem to have helped them analyze and synthesize during our lessons. Have they applied these "thinking skills" back in their classrooms? Initial testing seems to show they have. I will have the final results next week so stay tuned.

Until next time,


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