For an old-timer such as yours truly, the fact that 75% of the world’s population have mobile phones (in many cases, while not having sufficient nutrition or hydration) is not only confronting but to many teachers, confronting. Students know longer need the teacher to be the font or holder of knowledge. This knowledge can be easily be gained by the student whether in or out of the classroom. However in this light, teachers have a highly significant role in guiding and developing the students of today and tomorrow to be judicial, critical users (consumers and producers) of the information out there now and to come. Students need to know more than ever how to assess the appropriateness and quality of education technology processes and outcomes.
I love the term “glocal”; albeit not exactly the most beautiful neologism ever. It does however highlight the need for students and teachers to have one eye on the local and one on the global. We must ensure as teachers that students do not give up or think less of their local context in pursuit in the collegial global. This is a delicate balance to achieve and arguably one that educators must exercise great skill and judgement in obtaining for the students. In New Zealand, this is particularly essential in respect of our Maori & Pasifika learners. Due to the oral-based nature of these cultures and their limited geographical and numerical existence, the retention of these uniques in the face of globalization in both education, society and commerce is essential for not only their preservation but also the aiding and abetting of these young people’s culturally appropriate learning.
The manufacturing automation of FoxConn (1 million robots in just three years), (KPMG, 2014) truly emphasises that our students now and in the future must be still doers for sure but more importantly as the age of industrialization become further in the past, we must all think as much if not more than do. For many educators whose classrooms and thinking and doing still resemble a production line, this is a frightening and ideally avoidable context. Regardless of the fear factor, educators must take the moral and ethical high ground and take on the change ahead. If we are to legitimately do justice academically and socially (ERO, 2012) to our priority learners, we need to have an educational context in New Zealand that reflects not only our unique past and present but one that is open to the best teaching & learning from around the world. The last thing any teacher wants to have is an empty classroom because Khan Academy and comparable options offer above and beyond what the “local” teacher can. Maori & Pasifika learners can still choose to enter the labour/manual occupations that are becoming increasingly rare and automated. However such a move must be fully informed and arguably without fear or favour to past personal family or cultural employment histories. As the OECD report highlights (2016), the citizens on the lower and lowest incomes globally are increasingly being left behind while at the same time, those with mobility, transferable education and growth & judicious skill-sets and mind frames are able to comfortably move around the globe, hence the emergence of genuine “world citizens.”
Maybe the concept of “I think, therefore I am” has never, ever been more prevalent or indeed, important. Just a thought.
Education Review Office. (2012). Evaluation at a Glance: Priority Learners in New Zealand Schools. Retrieved 18 May 2016, from http://www.ero.govt.nz/assets/Uploads/Evaluation-at-a-Glance-Priority-Learners-in-New-Zealand-Schools-August-2012.pdf
KPMG Australia. (2014, May 22). Future State 2030 - Global Megatrends.[video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=im5SwtapHl8
OECD. (2016). Trends Shaping Education 2016, OECD Publishing, Paris. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/trends_edu-2016-en