Get Ready for Revolution
Technology is flourishing and being involved into different areas of our lives and transforming everything from the traditional forms to digital’s: the way of our work and study, the way to think, the manner of our lives. Digital technology forces education to transform which has unpredictable power and the consequenceare profound, so educators need to think carefully about the clear mission and goal for the future.
The revolution brought immense advantages compared with traditional classrooms: more interaction, engagement, and enthusiasm; more opportunities for accessing world-wide recourses, more instructional resolutions for diversity and more chances of autonomous learning. The revolution also requires new competencies in digital context as critical thinking, responsibility and respect mindset,ethical sensitivity, attention, and digital wisdom.
Like any revolutions in human history, none of them is expected only benefits without harms, and the education revolution has no exception, has a trade-off. It also brought many challenges in teaching and learning. For teachers, always going to two different extreme directions: for those who have many experiences in old teaching practice, change is so hard. Somehow they are easy to get stuck in the old ways and don’t want to adopt any digital educational technology into their teaching. Even they want to try a trivial step, it will take a long time to learn how to integrate appropriate digital technology to get maxima effect on improving students’ learning, any difficulties can force them to give up. For those who have full of enthusiasm and treat technology omnipotent and indispensable will grab any chance to embed into their teaching and be controlled, shaped by digital technology. For students, they are so young that can adapt technology into the learning easily but they also easy to get sucked on it which cause a distraction, a gap of OL and RL, obscured identity and ill-being.
What We Need
What do we need for the education in the digital age? We are calling for digital educational leader so badly, who is the light in the mist to lead us to fulfill the 21st century education’s goal; who is paving the road to the digital citizenship; who is the track taking us to the correct direction and making sure we are on track (gain 21st century’s digital competence and skills). The digital educational leader should hold the vision on “Where to go” for the transformation. The vision should model and promote schools to achieve digital citizenship from holding digital philosophy and values, building digital identity, making an effort on digital literacy to get digital wisdom and ethical, respectful mindset on digital participation, understanding and support diversity of students and fulfilling digital well-being.
Digital literacy: the Cornerstone ISTE 5-b
We are leading lives in the real world where has influenced by emerging digital technology, making our lives integral with credible or irresponsible data, surplus information, the different analysis which combine another paralleled city in which we also need to take responsibilities to be good citizens and gain competence to develop its civilization and welfare. The citizens who are living in the digital city will lead the direction of its future development potentially; those who hold characters of good citizens: respect others’ ideas, contribute intelligence,collaborate with diversity globally, participate mindfully and ethically, aware of complex effects from online activities, be sensitive of protecting privacy, will direct this city go to thrive and flourish. The digital literacy, which can foster good digital citizens to strengthen the digital philosophy and ethical values, and lead diversity of population to accomplish digital well-being must be the cornerstone of the digital city; must be the mission the digital educational leader has to take. As a digital educational leader, the mission is not only to offer digital literacy into different levels of schools: from foundation education level to higher level; but also keep non-stop by schools’ gate to advocate it from homes to large communities transferring a linear literacy to a circular literacy: from school-center to outer sphere. Create reciprocal power from teachers tostudents, parents to children, neighbor to neighbor, peer to peer which isconsidered to lead an inestimable and significant outcome. Digital literacy will build a bridge between RL and OL to lead a balanced and better life in both worlds and also leverage a healthy ecosphere in which every digital action holds tight connections to promote this digital city going to productive and positive.Otherwise, the vicious loop will cause disaster. If we want this digital city to be blessed by God, we need to listen to God’s words. Bible tells us we need to love your neighbors as you love yourself. As the digital educational leader,we need to make an effort on spreading digital literacy to fulfill 21stcentury’s needs to achieve a safe, healthy, loved and humanity digital city.
Get Power from Powerful Tool ISTE 5-a
As acknowledged, digital technology impact on school’s practice a lot, which like a powerful toolbox can promote teaching and learning and augment our abilitiesonly as while we know how to use it and use it correctly. First, we need to know what tools are in this toolbox—create a cognition of digital technology. As the digital educational leader, we must dedicate to provide equitable device access to everyone to gain knowledge of the powerful toolbox which is the critical experience for students and teachers whose lives are woven with ubiquitous information and data. We need to encourage schools to open this powerful toolbox to benefit teaching practice and learning rather than fear of it or avoid it. As the digital educational leader, we should keep in mind that everything has a balance, no exception of technology. So we have the obligation to provoke teachers’ passion, and at the same time we still have the responsibility to foresee and analyze the possibility of harms to balance the enthusiasm on the powerful tool. So what goods in the toolbox and how to use the powerful tool mindfully to get power and armed will be required so badly through PD and mentorship program. It seems we are planting a tree, we have to take care of the root to be healthy (correct cognition of technology) and nourishing (provide PD andassessment ), after we get the firm root, it will easily to get strong trunk and branches (literate education system and literate educators and students meet 21st century skills) and bear the fruit (well-being in reality and digital world). In this process, digital educational leaders and educators are gardeners, technology is the tool, in which educators will get power from the powerful tool, but good educators can never be replaced. Keep skeptical and critical thinking on using the tool and offer digital literacy water the tree,then we will bear full of fruits.
Less Surveillance, More Trust ISTE 5-c
Foucault brought up the social discipline of Panoption which is the architecture with a central monitor tower and many rooms surrounded are supervised. The surveillance in the tower is realized but unverifiable and become the “power eyes ” built in mind of whom are seen even there is nobody in the tower. The surveillance transfers from objective to subjective. In the schools, since the digital technology flourishing, we start to use different levels’ surveillance to standard and limit students’ behavior to shape their identities into digital citizens to make a healthy and safe digital environment in schools. The surveillance can help educators to pursue the short-term goal from extrinsic motivation but as the digital educational leader, we also need to hold the vision of the long-term of goal to meet 21st century’s needs to focus on students’ inner truth and promote their intrinsic motivation adapt the digital world to find out who they are, what the value of their lives to cultivate creativity, attention and build bridge of disconnections. The Panoption perspective can help educators to scale the level of surveillance they need and the end to reach the ideal level of no surveillance with which everyone will spontaneously to be good digital agency, no matter they are under or out of radar, no matter they are in school or in society, no matter they are online or offline. They will be the wholeness and integrity for both reality and digital life to enjoy the benefits from digital technology: global communication and collaboration with diversity to enhance their learning with different digital forms. In order to reach this ideal destination, the digital educational leader should honor educators to put their heart on students’ competence and trust them more than exploring technology techniques extremely.
In the 21st century, the learning competence is far more important than the results which are the big issues for the current education status in China, where treats the result of the test more than anything. There is a long and tough way to go on the education revolution for China. As the digital educational leader in China, we need to have a big picture of the world in the future that learning will happen with no limitation of time and location, which means the capability of independent learning will be a lifelong essential skill and creativity is the key to the future’s door.We need to realize that our mission is to guide students on how to learn and get the ability to learn rather than solve a math equation and memory hundreds of formulas. If we keep honoring the results, the outcome is a disaster that students lose their creativity, distort the values of learning, only focus on self without empathy with which go further away from the truth and further away from the digital society’s needs. China is realizing the issues and trying to transform education, but the processing is slow and full of difficulties. So what can we do right now? The technology becomes the solution and also the pitfall. As the digital educational leader in China, we are the gate-guard and guidance of digital technology; it is our responsibility to provide safe, healthy legal use. We should give equitable access to device and recourses to foster internet-based learning, not 100% relied on teachers. At the same time, we have to embed digital literacy into curriculums to cultivate ethics, identity, responsibility, and competence to achieve digital citizenship.
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