Our learners in this brave new world are born with the tablet attached to their belly. It is unavoidable for them to let go of what they were born with and that is the boom of digital technology. Educators have long debated the benefits and disadvantages of technology in the classroom, but our millennials, and Generation Z learners or the so-called Digital Natives would agree if I say that technology has been a part of our lives.
With the fast-paced advancement in our society, the half-life of knowledge or the time span from when knowledge is gained to the time when it becomes obsolete is shortening. It means, things that are true in the past may not be true today. This goes the same with the educational learning landscape – we now welcome the 21st Century Learning. In this type of setting, we make use of the Blended Learning approach, wherein the pragmatics and pedagogies of the past are merged with the use of technology as tools for communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity. Web services and apps such as Google Classroom make synchronous and asynchronous learning more meaningful. Learning is no longer confined in the four walls of the classroom but rather out in the open anywhere and anytime. Smartphones are the most hand computers; tablets are the new students’ or teachers’ backpack; cloud-computing is the new blackboard, mobile apps are the new art materials and tools for learning, and the Learning Management System is the 21st Century classroom. The possibilities are made endless and our Digital Natives or learners can benefit much more by learning additional life skills such as problem-solving, flexibility, information technology, and media literacy.
The world has evolved, so as the education landscape. The future may be uncertain but one thing will remain. As long as educators, teachers, and learners remain up-to-date, learning shall take place.
– By Michael Jake Arcilla