We have had Gen Y and Gen Z. We have returned to the start of the alphabet and skipped a few letters to arrive at ‘C’. The students that are within our classes today are therefore labelled as Gen C. Generation C want to create, collaborate, and connect and communication. Technology provides the means for the twenty first century learners to experience personal, individualised and targeted learning to fulfil their need to create content, connect with others and broadcast their work.
People may argue that technology does not improve learning. In dispute of this opinion, recent evaluation of Australian student’s literacy has been conducted and it has been found that core Comprehension and Reading skills improve 12% through the use of technology. Computers, laptops and tablet technologies do not replace the way students learn. In fact technology does not replace ‘good’ teaching. Technology is simply used to assist learning and where appropriate substitute traditional ways of working. Technology is the chalk of today.
Suitable methods must be employed to enhance learning experiences for students. Technology provides unique opportunities that allow Generation C to be motivated, active and enthusiastic learners that can create, communication, connect and collaborate. The requirement for professional educators is to learn appropriate methodologies to empower students to optimize learning outcomes.
It can be argued that technology is a distraction for students; however, I firmly believe that technology is only a distraction when it is a novelty. Therefore, it has never been more important for educators to become aware of how to use technology affectively. The difficulties that teachers face is allowing time in their already busy calendar to learn ways to adopt new strategies that facilitate learning. The main issue is that teachers often prefer working in familiar and habitual ways because they are often systems that are proven, tried and successful. When teachers are already successful the push to take risks seems perilous. In the end however, teachers realize that they must embrace what is best for their students and not that which is simply more convenient.
Time must be scheduled for staff to improve digital literacy and discuss digital pedagogy to improve professional practice. For this reason many schools across the country and even the world are allocating time for teachers to learn new teaching dimensions and ways to blend technology within the learning landscape. Nambour Christian College has blocked out many hours for educators to enhance their teaching practice and become even more successful in their profession.