Educators must embrace technology and change the way they do things because the current system does not serve the digital generation well, says a leading Canadian author.
“The old model based on lectures, for both kindergarten to Grade 12 and the universities, is a model that is inappropriate for a new generation that has grown up digital,” said Don Tapscott, an adjunct professor at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management.
“It’s a one-way, one-size-fits-all, teacher-focused model where students are isolated in the learning process,” he said.
The Toronto-based, best-selling author of Growing Up Digital and Grown Up Digital:
How the Net Generation is Changing Your World, said the web can reinvent education: “We can use the web and new technology to change the relationship between students and teachers in the learning process to get a multi-way, student-focused, customized, collaborative model of learning. The people who understand this the best are actually the students.”
Teacher Vicki Davis is already moving toward the future. Davis is one of the founders of the Flat Classroom Project — which Tapscott is taking part in — which has brought middle and high school students together from around the world to collaborate on projects.
Teachers merge their classrooms, pair up students from different time zones to work on assignments online, “writing wikis together, researching together” on real topics, she said.