In the digital age we have entered, it is time to re-evaluate many systems of our society, primarily our education model. With digital technologies in the classroom not only is it not enough for a teacher to be “at the front of the class distilling knowledge” (Howell, p. 5). This is a selfish notion driven by our outdated stereotypes of what it means to be a teacher. Lee Crockett describes this well when talking about his best-selling book Literacy is not Enough; he explains that “most educators have been in a classroom since the age of 5…and because of this we have a very particular notion of what teaching and learning and assessment look like.” With an increasing technological presence in education, teachers must learn to redefine their role, curating experiences and collaborating with students in a mutual learning environment.
This is unavoidable, as students are increasingly digitally expectant. They experience technology as a major component in their entertainment and social based activities outside of school, so it is not a huge leap for them to expect it to be at school as well, not just as a standalone subject but as a deeply embedded element of their learning on any given topic. Most modern career paths require a high level of digital competency, and one can only assume that as technology advances this will become more so in correlation, so as educators it is our responsibility to engage children in their own digital culture to prepare them as future contributors to society.
My impression is that whilst Marc Prensky’s terms “digital native” and “digital immigrant” (2001) are currently applicable, they will soon become obsolete as we move into an age where one’s level of digital fluency merely falls on a spectrum. No one will ever truly be digitally fluent, because at the rate technology is progressing there will always be more to learn.