I just read Will Richardson’s blog on “No Choice,” and found it very interesting. For starters, I’m shocked, but not shocked at the number of hours 8-18 year olds are spending on media. The New Kaiser Foundation reports, “8-18 year olds devotes an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes to using entertainment media across a typical day. And because they spend so much of that time ‘media multi-tasking’, they actually manage to pack a total of 10 hours and 45 minutes worth media content into those 7.5 hours.”
So back to the “No Choice” theme Will Richardson brings up in his blog post, because technology continues to play an important role in our society, and integrating technology into the schools will help prepare students to succeed, I agree that technology is transforming society, and schools do not have a choice as to whether they will incorporate technology but rather how well we use it to enhance learning. As educators we are preparing students for jobs that don’t even exist yet. We are teaching new skills such as media multi-tasking; using two or more types of media at once (a skill I am still trying to learn). If we don’t teach these, is this a disservice to our students? Like Will Richardson pointed out, “We may not feel comfortable in a world filled with technology. We may not like the way it’s changing things and, even more, how fast it’s changing things. We may not like the way it pushes against much of what we’ve been doing in schools for eons. But our kids don’t have a choice. And if we’re going to fulfill our roles as teachers in our kids lives, neither do we.” I think that this is such a powerful statement, because it sums up how important it is to integrate technology in schools.