Thursday, 5 September 2013

TECHNOLOGY IN EDUCATION - 24/7 CONNECTEDNESS

Do you remember the days when you could take the car for a long drive along the coast or a short trip to the shops and were not contactable for that period of time?

If you saw something amazing along the way that you desperately wanted to share with family or friends, for example beautiful scenery or a great dress, you had to wait until you got to a pay phone or house landline before you could explain what it was.

If you were able to take a photo of yourself with the amazing backdrop, you first had to use up the rest of your camera film, then take it to be developed, and then wait for the photos to come back until you could send them through via snail mail.

There was no difference in relation to work. If you had to travel interstate or even across the city, you were faced with the prospect of being totally disconnected from the office for an entire day or more. Even if you were to meet up with colleagues for a simple meeting, it involved everyone agreeing on a landmark and time, rather than a quick text or sms asking them ‘where are you?’ once you got close to the location.

No social media updates, no email, no wifi cloud and definitely no digital cameras with GPS, for an instant upload of your location and snapshot...

While the technology of today has certainly made things easier and saved us lots of time, we are starting to find it harder and harder to clock-off, thanks to the limitless ability to log on. Therefore, what does this 24/7 connectedness mean for our children in the future? How will they cope to manage this in their professions? When you think about it, many professionals who are working in the evening and on weekends from home are starting to see it as part and parcel of the job - certainly school staff fall into that category and always have, regardless of the technology at their fingertips. In fact, educators need to be the forerunners in being globally connected to lead the way for their students, because as it is stated: “If we don’t provide our students the chance to connect on a global level, we are not preparing them for the future…”

You may think its too early for a primary school to be considering this aspect of technology in education, but you only need to look around you and monitor the level of connectedness your child has with the ‘small screen’ to realise that you may in fact be too late.

Here at Alexander school, we certainly have embraced the collaborative connectedness that has taken shape since the introduction of ‘Google Apps for Education’. Students and teachers alike are starting to make the connection in new and innovative ways, crossing the boundaries of the classroom with effective ‘cloud’ computing. As we move further in this direction, in particular with the senior students, we also need to ensure that at the same time we are equipping them with the right tools of management.

Next term, parents will have the opportunity to witness and experience how this new technology is being utilised at the school with a special demonstration evening.

Manoug Demirjian


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