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About a year ago I first wrote about the impact of new technologies in education and highlighted a blog by Rita Gunther McGrath who listed “7 major changes… that will upend traditional education.” Read Gunther McGrath’s blog post here. Today I write about the unlimited educational experiences that come from it… here’s a simple example:

The company’s division I work in received an email today that stated a company had applied for the brand name associated with our division with a deadline to respond.

As I think about it, we have a few different options to address the email request which includes no response and/or doing nothing. However, in thinking about these options today, I had a difficult time thinking about how one might have addressed similar correspondence (if received by mail, for example) 20 years ago! Today, however, when asked to “look into this” I simply started by Googling the domain name from the email address. The top two results provided immediate insights:

Technology 1

The Hacker’s ramblings post (02.21.2013) and associated comment provided all the information we needed to educate ourselves on this non-issue… immediately; in fact, it took more time for the email request to “look into this” to get to me than it did for us to find the solution! At this point my IT colleague reading this post is probably chuckling; in a foray of work adventures last Friday I asked him if he could develop a template for me from a graphic. His initial response, because we attended a tech conference earlier this year together, was to send the link answer from http://lmgtfy.com with an “lol.” [For those of you who are not familiar with this URL it is “let me Google that for you.”]

 Technology 2

As an educator we need to think about ways to engage students where we embrace their use of technology as their solution. The “best practice” should simply be getting to end results of student engagement and academic achievement – learning. I am reminded of Wesch’s cultural anthropology class video A Vision of Students Today (YouTube).

 

Of course, even Wesch’s class video was created 5 years ago. However, it challenges us at educators to identify the characteristics of our students today, “how do they learn, what do they need to learn, their goals, hopes, dreams…” It challenges us to choose content differently, present content differently, and engage students differently than we have traditionally. In short, the video challenges us to choose and deliver content with our audience in mind. Consider the implication; our focus becomes student learning. It means we begin evaluating our teaching not by how well we teach content, but rather how well our students learn.

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Gunther McGrath, R. (03.07.12). What will digital technologies do to education? Available online here.

Hacker’s ramblings. (02.21.13). Chinese domain scam – revisited. Available online here.

Wesch, M., and Introduction to Cultural Anthropology Spring 2007. (10.12.2007). A Vision of Students Today. Available on YouTube.

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