Ronald Reagan once said, “Information is the oxygen of the modern age”. However, twenty years ago, if you wanted to learn how to service your car, you could watch a mechanic or go to the library and read some books. Where do we go now? Just last week my husband decided to service our Ford Territory. He’s never done this before. However, he got on YouTube and completed the process step by step with a qualified mechanic on his phone telling him exactly what to do!
There’s an episode of a sit-com Modern Family where Claire Dunphy (the mum), challenges her family to a week long technology fast. See the video below. It was hilariously impossible. Alex, the middle daughter (a top student) receives a very poor mark on her assignment as she was forced to use an encyclopaedia to research for her assignment. Finally, she yells in frustration, “I need technology!”
It’s amazing how our schools are still however stuck 20 years back! My role as teacher needs to be changing. I should no longer be the encyclopaedia of all knowledge for my primary school students. I need to be teaching them how to access good information. How to think critically about this information and what to do with this quality information.
Currently, I teach 27 beautiful year three students. We are currently a very traditional school. Currently, I am in the process of setting up Moodle for our year level. But really, NGL plays a very limited role in our school.
NGL should play a pivotal role in modern day schooling. With information at the ready 24/7, devices to access this information available and a curriculum that supports the use of modern technologies, NGL is becoming vital.
NGL will give us access to experts, access to quality information. It will allow our students to think and think critically. NGL provides a platform for all learners to engage and be apart of a broader community of collaborators willing to learn. I’m hoping this course will provide me with a robust rationale for using NGL in our schools for transformational learning.
However, this comes with many difficulties. People are scared. Privacy and security are huge issues. Infrastructure to support NGL is often lacking at schools and access to devices to use NGL are also often scarce. Despite these issues, I’m hoping that I will be able to devise a robust plan and rationale to argue that NGL is not only worthwhile, but imperative today.