Learning and teaching in the digital age (By Steve Wheeler)
by UNESCO Chair in Education & Technology for Social Change on Oct 11, 2011
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The world is in a constant state of change. The changes are profoundly affecting every ...
The world is in a constant state of change. The changes are profoundly affecting every
part of the fabric of our society.
Education is particularly is affected by change, with a
direct impact on the cultures of our schools and universities, and also by projection –
with implications for all our futures.
It is likely that the students we now teach will leave school to enter a world of work
that is radically different to the world with which we are currently familiar.
The evolution of digital media has brought us to an unprecedented point in history
where we are able to connect, create and collaborate in new ways on a global basis.
Knowledge production is burgeoning, to the extent that any fact or statistic is now
openly searchable and available on the Web. Such cultural shifts necessitate new
modes of thinking, new ways of communication and new rules of engagement with
people, content and organisations.
Mobile technologies, handheld devices and social media have combined to create
fertile, anytime-anyplace learning opportunities that are unprecedented. Teachers and
learners are adapting to these new untethered and ubiquitous modes of education,
and in so doing, are discovering an entirely new array of skills which we shall call the
‘digital literacies’. These include the ability to learn across and between multiple and
diverse platforms, the ability to self broadcast to large audiences and the discernment
to select and filter out good and bad content, all achievable within ever changing mediated environments.
What will be the new skills and literacies that teachers and students will need, to
survive and thrive in the digital age? How will assessment of learning change? What
will be the expectations of young learners, and will these differ from what the
institutions can offer? Ultimately, how will teachers prepare students for a world of
work we can no longer clearly describe?
n this presentation he will explore these concepts and discuss the future of learning
and teaching in the digital age.
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