The students of today are no different from those of the previous two centuries. However, their circumstances are largely different. Today, students are being educated on a global scale. Before the burst of technology which lead to this worldwide communication, the school “audience” only existed within the school building. This being said, the ways students learn in the 21st century needed to be adjusted. Megan Garber says in “Attention versus distraction” that the main obstacle for today’s students is apathy. Getting the students interested in the material with so many distractions floating around is very challenging. Garber goes on to say that the internet helps us to find and explore our interests. This can be self-fulfilling, but will it help complete the subjects we find uninteresting? More often, it is used as a diversion from these topics. All of this being said, I believe technology would be more beneficial to be used in the modern-day classroom. The internet makes everything so convenient that today’s students lose sight of the work they are supposed to be doing. Technology should be used in education, because it keeps the kids’ interest. The next step would be for the students to take a self-control class on resisting YouTube, Facebook, and twitter online (half-joking, half-serious). Overall, educators should mend their curriculums toward utilizing the technologies to keep the interest of students, making sure to keep them on task.
The structure of education is in need of reform. So much time has elapsed since schools have changed their ways. Everything around them seems to be changing, aside from what is going on in classrooms. To deny that the world is going under a massive movement in mass communication, and the way we communicate is to say Rome was built in a day. Time should be taken to revise the structure of education into a more usable way for the students. If we have convenient technology at our fingertips which would facilitate learning, why not use them? The new educational schema which I am suggesting was outlined partly in “This is How We Think: Learning in Public After the Paradigm Shift” by Richard E. Miller. Using programs to peer edit and revise our work has never been easier. The interactive capabilities of today’s technologies will do more to spark the interest of the students than memorizing passages and leaving the students to “figure it out”. One of the main advantages to using technology is the ease of collaboration from student to student and professor to student. Miller referenced a professor who took the questions students posted and made a video answering those questions. Being interactive and collaborating through technology would make up the backbone of the new educational schema.
Explaining the change in education as similar to natural human evolution would be quite accurate. The amount of time it takes for education does take a while that is. If education was expanding at the same rate as technology then natural human evolution would be much slower. In any case, in human evolution minor changes are made over a period of time to move us closer toward survival. Similarly, it seems education is making very minor adjustments in attempt to stay relevant in today’s society. Just as humans have changed in the past, humans are changing now. Students of today are adjusting to the new stimuli presented to them, stimuli which is different than what previous generations were presented with. In “Growing Up Digital, Wired for Distraction” Matt Richtel says how 21st century students are wired differently than previous centuries. Our brains are now more accustomed to switching tasks, he says, and young people are the largest at risk as they are still in development. As a result, our neurological pathways have adjusted to fit the new technology which favors hopping from task to task. Scientifically, today’s students are different than prior generations. The main task educators must focus on is how to curb the interests of the newest generations into a form which interests them. Previous generations had many fewer outlets than we have now. We need to use technology in a way which captures interest but also teaches.