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My Learning and COETAIL

Education as we know it… what does this mean? What does education mean? What does it mean to be a teacher?

Depending on who you ask – you would get extremely different answers. To some education is students going to school to learn. Some people even asking, “Do you teach school?” What???? Teach school? What is school?

Working in Thailand has changed my perspective on being a teacher. As people respect me and look up to me in a way that I did not see when teaching in America.

It’s hard for me to guess where education will be in the coming years, because it seems to take a while for changes to actually happen. After the school adopts the changes, it takes teachers a while to adapt their teaching strategies as well. After completing the past few weeks of blog posts for COETAIL, I learned about technology of the past, the present, and the future. Although, a lot of it was completely new to me and things I know other teachers haven’t yet tried. For example, we purchased Seesaw for Schools this year and it has been quite difficult to get teachers to use it. (Some) teachers know what skills a 21st-century learner needs. Yet still, those same teachers lack the skills needed to be a 21st-century teacher.

The following is a fairly universal list of education design principles for tomorrow’s schools, though it would be tailored to the needs of particular communities: (1) personalized; (2) safe and secure; (3) inquiry-based; (4) student-directed; (5) collaborative; (6) interdisciplinary; (7) rigorous and hands-on; (8) embodying a culture of excellence and high expectations; (9) environmentally conscious; (10) offering strong connections to the local community and business; (11) globally networked; and (12) setting the stage for lifelong learning. – Prakash Nair in The Classroom is Obsolete: It’s Time for Something New

The list above creates an excellent picture of the student in tomorrow’s schools. But when does tomorrow start? Does it literally start tomorrow? Or does it start in 5 years? Or 10-15?


5 years…

I stumbled across the same article,  Collaborative Learning for the Digital Age – I wrote about in my post, Light Bulb, Camera, Action. In five years education will be, “On the Internet, everything linking to everything, and all of it being available all the time.” -Cathy N. Davidson. Although, I do feel like this is already the case, I also feel like it is going to take some time for all of the teachers to get there. How do I help them get there? What are my next action steps? (to be continued… because I am not 100% sure)

In my experience as an educator and Technology Integration Coach it has an interesting journey of seeing all of the different levels of ability and desire to learn more. This doesn’t just relate to technology, but instead relates to all subjects/areas of the curriculum/parts of a 21st-century learner. There are teachers that take the new app or website you just showed them and go home and “play in the sandbox.” They try out the tools and try to figure out how to use it. Then, theres teachers that appreciate your effort, “but don’t have time to learn something new.” And lastly, theres those teachers who just don’t pay attention to anything you’re saying at all. No one said this profession was going to be easy.

“Part of what we need to figure out as teachers and as learners is, Where does the intimacy of the face-to-face have its most powerful impact?” – Nathan Heller in LAPTOP U

I definitely don’t think face-to-face teaching and learning will be gone in 5 years, especially in the younger years. Albeit, I sometimes think it could be possible in upper grades. Especially with free online courses like edX, Coursera, and University of the People. I had never heard of the University of the People, and it amazes me the possibilities that are out there. It also amazes me that I graduated from University in 2014 and my first independent professional development didn’t occur until 2016. If teachers aren’t learning on their own, how do we inspire students to? Honestly, I didn’t know about all of the possible opportunities. Maybe this is a good starting point though- helping learners of all ages to see all of possibilities.

COETAIL has got me on a roll though. Since beginning this program my eyes have been opened to the world of online learning. I have expanded my Professional Learning Network and earned badges for becoming a Seesaw Ambassador, BrainPOP Certified Educator and a NewsELA Pro and became Google Level 1 and 2 (and almost GET) certified. I have learned so much this year and by continuing to learn have only been more inspired to join more classes and gain more knowledge.

10-15 years…

As of today…

People expect to work, learn, socialize, and play whenever and wherever they want to. Increasingly, people own more than one device, using a computer, smartphone, tablet, and eReader. People now expect a seamless experience across all their devices. – A Communiqué from the Horizon Project Retreat

In ten to fifteen years education will be completely different than anything I can imagine at this point in time. My best guess would be an abundance of opportunities for lifelong learning available to the majority of learners, as Shai Reshef says in the video above. One can only hope, at least…