Friday, 13 January 2012

Did You Know?

Video credit:  Jfitzpatri

Just watched this video with some very interesting "facts" about the world and how fast information changes and, sometimes, becomes obsolete.  I got goosebumps watching this video because it shows how small our world is becoming due to technological advancements that may have been thought of as science-fiction only decades ago.  When I watched and read all of the "facts", one thing stood out in my mind as a teacher who is going to be educating students on "problems that we don't even know we have yet" and preparing them for "jobs that don't even exist yet":  critical thinking and inquiry are of utmost importance, and we need to foster this in our classrooms for the future citizens of this world so they know what to make of the world they live in, because we have no idea now what that world will look like.  I highly doubt that my parents ever thought a handheld device could hold thousands of songs and videos, access a whole other world of information, and type a word into something called "Google" and find thousands of possible answers.

Speaking back to the Building Futures workshops I attended yesterday, this was a main theme in the Effective Literacy workshop, mentioned by Ellen Davey who has been a principal in elementary schools for a number of years.  She talked about how important it is for her to see that students are engaged in their learning, because really - if they're not engaged in the process of learning now, that "learning" is going to me meaningless to them in the future, but to a whole other extent because that learning will have become obsolete by the time they may be able to put it to use.  What I'm trying to get at is that I think inquiry is so, so, so important.  Students need to learn how to find the information they want to know and discover more information on the way.  They need to have critical thinking skills so that when they are bombarded by all the new information, they can make decode its meaning, make sense of it and make it relevant to their own lives.

I mentioned above that the video provides a number of "facts", and I purposely put the word facts into quotations because I think it's true what they say in the video about information becoming obsolete - so how long will it take for the information in this video to become obsolete?  We need to educate students, and all people, that indeed, "shift happens" and we need to know how to prepare for it and make something of it.

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