Rapidly changing Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) represent the future, and play an integral role in implementing decentralized decision-making and curriculum reform. Redesigned contemporary priorities feature a shift from routine classrooms being teacher-centered to becoming learner-centered, while replacing traditional passive tasks with authentic hands-on-inquiry activities. Collaboration is an essential aspect of nurturing a flexible and dynamic environment which encourages each and every learner to articulate, visualize, experiment, discover and test curious notions.
Through cooperative interaction and practical application, free-spirited Generation XL, weaned on gadgets and gimmicks, can gain know-how to extend their short attention span myopic perspectives and hone their outside the box conceptual and theoretical skills as well as their critical analysis sensibilities. An over-reliance on standardized test scores is an inadequate measurement tool to evaluate the breadth of digital performance effectiveness. The role of the teacher should be re-conceptualized as facilitator rather than lecturer, stated in the Mantra: “Teachers should go from being the sage on the stage to being a guide on the side.”
Re-trained well-equipped techno-wise instructors should strive to vary hybrid pick-and-choose options to fit motivational, socio-cultural and behavioral preferences based on fundamental basic skills content and everyday survival skills objectives that motivated, high-achievers are expected to master. Goals include trying to make sense of a remote-controlled www inundated with 24/7 mass media messages, and acquiring know-how to reshape our interlinked future purpose to function capably and gain a competitive advantage.
ICT, when used efficiently, can help improve learner-focused classroom instruction. When used excessively, however, it can detract from the lesson and become a distraction. Both digital and non-digital approaches benefit each other if balanced properly, customized to meet each and every student’s unique needs and learning styles. A variety of different instructional techniques to match mutually recognized how and why priorities, based on content to be covered and availability of technological resources, aim to maximize success. Supplements incorporating “fun” imaginative activities and challenging self-discovery tasks are important components to enhance learning about things that matter most to fast-forward and slow-paced learners alike. Everybody is uniquely different and therefore everyone acquires knowledge differently, but all need to be treated with supportive compassion, kind tolerance and dignified respect.
Dr. Charles Frederickson