When I first saw this video I thought: “Wow! Isn’t he cute?”
At first, I could only see a cute little boy pulling faces and peering at the camera with inquisitive eyes but soon I realized that the message he wanted to send was crystal clear. Then, I got into the car and drove off to work but on my way to school, his words came back to me (as the echo in the video) Are you going to be my teacher? You can’t be my teacher! You can’t be my teacher if you don’t know how to use a computer or the Internet, if you don’t know how to teach me to be safe on the Internet, if you refuse to learn how to use technology.
And it dawned on me that he’s absolutely right. I’ve got two children and I realize now, more than ever, that what they need to learn is much more than I needed to because they have more opportunities and more easy access to the kind of information we could never get, and only at a click away.
Our children need teachers, and even parents who know how to teach them to get the best out of new technologies, who know how to help their children in their never-ending quest for information, who know how to make them safe on the Internet because Internet is not a passing fad, it’s here to stay and our children, in every single school, everywhere in the world have to be ready for life, for the world they have to live in when they finally leave our classes. It’s our duty as educators to make an effort to keep up with the new technologies, to know how to help students use the Internet and the fact that our generation is not a digital native is a very lame excuse for, at least, not trying.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that the traditional way of teaching is no longer valid. I don’t believe textbooks are a thing of the past, not yet, at least. I believe in a combination of the old and the new, of trying to achieve the right balance between what is useful in both methods.
If we can’t, at least, make the effort, we should maybe consider, making room for someone who wants to try.
This is what our children need and I want to conclude with the last words in the video
” Do you really think it’s possible to be an educator in the information age and not understand and use the Internet? Continue to pretend the internet is just a fad.”
Photo by Cristóbal Cobo Romaní