Supporting Education Environment Using IT Resources
October 4, 2015
A Knowledge-Based Economy
The development of digital communications and collaborative technologies has transformed the world.
Ideas and knowledge – not materials and physical labor – provide the bedrock for economic growth and development. The classroom, rather than the factory, provides the motor for development. We have moved from an industry-based world economy to a knowledge-based economy.
Does this transformation impact what we should learn within our education system? The Answer will vary:
Yes. The knowledge economy requires a new set of competencies for students to develop.
You’re right. In today’s economy, we need to develop new skills, including collaboration, creativity, analysis, and synthesis.
These will improve our economic prospects and may also help develop social cohesion and cross-cultural understanding by helping people become more productive members of society.
To some extent. Students need to learn about new technologies to use them effectively.
But students need more than simply knowing about new technologies. We need to develop new skills, including collaboration, creativity, analysis, and synthesis. These will improve our economic prospects and may also help develop social cohesion and cross-cultural understanding by helping people become more productive members of society.
No. Our curriculum has evolved over time and covers all essential subjects.
Think again. In today’s knowledge-based economy, the essential subjects are changing rapidly. We need to adjust curricula to allow students to use technology and develop skills, including collaboration, creativity, analysis, and synthesis.
Today’s Learning Environment
How has the teaching and learning environment changed in the past few decades?
Then: You needed a printing press to produce a publication, a lecture hall to deliver a lecture, and a film company to make a movie.
Now: Readily available technology and tools allow the efficient production and distribution of high-quality resources.
Access to Learning
Then: Learning used to be constrained by the hours of the school day and the school building boundaries.
Now: Online communications and resources allow the classroom to be open 24 hours a day and accessible to anyone with an Internet connection.
Then: The educator carried the responsibility for teaching and was the source of all information.
Now: The ability to share and collaborate allows learners to contribute to their own learning journey as well as the teaching and learning process.
Limitless Availability of Information
Then: Teachers and learners used to struggle to find information and resources on a subject.
Now: Today, the wealth of information available is the key challenge to learners and teachers. But sophisticated search engines make this more manageable.
Then: Learning pathways were once a simple straight line from A to B.
Now: Digital tools allow today’s learners to become the independent, creative, and innovative thinkers the modern world demands.
Then: Young learners never used to think digital communications were an essential part of their lives.
Now: To anyone under the age of 20, the PC, the Internet, and the mobile phone are commonplace and used in all areas of their lives.