In my free time I tend to read a lot about trends, concerns and changes in education. This is not surprising, as there is an abundance of discussions and questioning of educational practices around the world which are open to everyone. Yet, where does one begin implementing change? How does one achieve change in education?
I do not wish to claim that I have the magic formula to these questions; however, there are two elements which I believe are pertinent to education today and need to be addressed. One of them is Digital Citizenship. For me, Digital Citizenship is not only learning how to keep safe online, but also netiquette and how to manage creative content. One may say that these issues should be dealt with by parents but how much time do parents actually have nowadays? Furthermore, how many parents are really able to accompany their children's tech-savy lives?
As digital learning spreads in classrooms around the world, it is time that Digital Citizenship is included in the curriculum. Educators need to be realistic - it is while practising digital literacies that digital citizenship is meaningful addressed within a context; not later in the evening when parents arrive home from a long day's work and commute. Despite regular reminders in the classroom not to share private information with strangers, some statistics still point out the following numbers (as published by the Zone Alarm)
The Secret Life of the Online Teenager
Younger learners especially, need to know that it is their right to be safe and comfortable online. As I have recently mentioned, cyber-bullying is not always visible but exists.
(published in Cyberbullying)
6h February will celebrate Digital Learning Day; explore the site and find different resources from Language Arts Ideas to Project Based Learning - ideas and resources which may be used not only on one day, but throughout the academic year.
Another change that classroom practices may achieve regards attitudes towards the environment. Increasingly, schools around the world celebrate World Environment Day, as well as include environmental topics in the curricula. From global issues to more localized concerns, raising awareness about the environment is never in vain. Changes in attitude are essential - recycling, garbage disposal , saving water and so much more needs to addressed. As developing countries shift to more industrialised societies, and consequently become more consumer orientated, it is necessary that they avoid the many mistakes other industrialised countries have made. Regardless of one's geographical location, the environment is becoming more fragile and education has the responsibility to play an active role in raising awareness among young generations.
What changes do you think are possible to achieve in 2013?
Digital Citizenship and Creative Content - A Teacher's Guide