A new education paradigm
When asked whether technology is shaping education, the blogger and former CEO of a UK company specialized in on-line learning, Donald Clark says ‘it empirically does and resistance to it is futile”. According to him, we are experiencing a “revolution in content” in which everyone can access to almost any resources, anytime, anywhere thanks to apps such as Wikipedia, youtube etc.
In fact, this new way of learning where there is no teachers nor curricula any more frees education from a specific place, date and time and extends it far beyond the classroom. When for some, teaching begins with authority and expertise; for the digital pedagogue, teaching begins with an inquiry encouraging students to explore and find out answers by themselves.
It is now well established that a wise use of ICT can lead to higher order thinking skills, provide creative and individualized options for students to express their understandings. It also better prepares them to a modern working environment where problem-solving and as teamwork as well as autonomy are valued.
Schools and education institutions plays a crucial role in developing student’s digital skills especially as it provides equity of opportunity and access regardless of the learner’s background. The challenge being to shift from a vertical education model where the teacher/trainer delivers knowledge to the students to a more horizontal one where he/she acts rather as a “facilitator” allowing every student to learn at their own pace, using a combination of different methods and scalable tools.