CTLT Dialogues

The Blog of the Center for Teaching & Learning with Technology

Preparing Our Students for a Digital Nation

Posted by ctlt on May 21, 2010

The Keynote Address for this year’s TNT Institute was delivered by Steve Maher, formerly a social studies teacher and now a supervisor at Chatham High School. Steve was interviewed by film makers from the PBS series Frontline for two recent documentaries broadcast by PBS. Steve is a long time observer of student use of computer-based or smart technology, especially handheld devices, and he’s been a practitioner of integrating IT and new media into his teaching for several years.

Steve reflected on his sense that people generally acknowledge that information technology keeps evolving, but that they don’t fully grasp how dramatic a change new forms of communication and interaction represent. Steve offered as a prompt to our imaginations the situation of a high school teacher in 1973 being offered a classroom with both an LCD projector and a computer with access to the Internet. How would a teacher from 1973 react to the availability such resources? Students today are coming of age in an environment rich in possibilities, and teachers should take into consideration how new patterns of media interaction may shape their sense of who they are and their future professional lives.

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