Traditionally, education has been an entity, a system, a learning process that students undergo, or all or a combination of these things. Albert Einstein was once quoted as saying:

"Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school".

In modern terms, education today is about learning as a life-long experience, not simply a process that students endure for a period of their lives.

Future learning requires deconstructing traditional views of education as an institution. For education, the next 10 years are about building communities of learners that can connect, communicate and collaborate about anything, anywhere and anytime. Social constructivism maintains that we learn well from expressing our ideas for others in a culture of shared meanings and contexts. Moreover, the advent of web technologies such as AJAX, blog, chat, forums, podcasting, RSS feeds, wikis and so on, means that learning can be self-directed, dynamic, interactive and media-rich.

Boundaries that exist in the physical world, don't necessarily exist in the virtual world. Virtually speaking, the world is flat. In theory, every person with an internet connection and some basic computer literacy has access to a wealth of digital information providing opportunities for new experiences, knowledge and skills. Technology can go beyond the four walls of a traditional classroom or lecture theatre. This 'level playing field' can mitigate inequities based on age, gender, geography, race, religion or wealth.

I believe technology is a driving factor in the pedagogical paradigm shift. The role for educators has transformed from instructors to that of facilitators, knowledge architects and co-learners. It's an exciting time to be involved in education. How do you feel about being an educator in the 21st century?

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Comment by Peggy Soong Yaplee on July 14, 2007 at 12:56pm
Chad,
Once again I am in total agreement with you. However, why is it, since it is such an exciting time to be an educator, there are so many teachers who still do not integrate technology in their classrooms?
Until the various agencies, administrations, etc are involved in this reform, there isn't a lot of support for teachers to make some of these changes. If one has an administrator who is use to doing things the old ways, it will impede this process.

When teachers are treated like the workers in the business sector where there is technology support and on going training and professional development to integrate technology, then we might have a chance to promote the kind of learning that we all envision as teachers who are excited about what is going on in technology.

I think those of us who are promoting this kind of excitement will be the change agents and when we start demonstrating that our students are making academic achievement that surpasses others, only then will the walls of traditional teaching will be breached.

Peggy

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