It’s not our world anymore. So why do we treat it as though it is?

I’ve been thinking greatly about improving my own pedagogy within this digital age, and how to easily explain it, how to come up with tips and tricks to take those who weren’t born with an i in front of their names and help them see the world the way our kids do. Because if we want to teach our students, if we want them to truly engage and learn, we need to stop forcing them to meet us in our world, and we need to step into theirs. This is a truly frightening thing to do – I freely admit that. We all talk of a generational gap… but that’s not the issue now. It’s more of a reality gap…

See there is a great divide occurring here. As teachers, we tend to see the electronic world as tacked on, an additional sphere of influence in the kids’ lives, because that’s generally how it is with us. So we talk about distancing facebook from the classroom, we discuss the lack of social interactions our kids have (meaning audibly, face to face where we can see it happening), and we focus on the negatives associated with the ‘introduction’ of technology in our students’ lives. The trouble is that this is not how our students are operating. Anywhere else, other than school, our kids have seamless interactions IRL/AFK (In Real Life/Away From Keyboard) – they’re not two separate worlds for them. They are one world, one reality. There is no real life away from facebook, email, KiK, texts etc. This is the world for them – what we see around us AND what we see in front of us on our tiny little screens.

In order to truly make effective and engaging lessons, we need to step into this seamless existence. We need to meet our students where they are, and stop forcing them into an industrial age style of classroom. I mean, let’s face it – it wasn’t really right for us either. I wish our teachers had met us where we were… I might actually have been doing this a bit earlier. 🙂

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