I recently had the pleasure of attending a Google Summit in Melbourne Australia. I had the privilege of listening to a variety of inspiring speakers and learnt some amazing new skills and tricks along the way. Sally Ann Williams was one of the first speakers. She discussed the way forward and shared some possible future avenues. I had always experienced trouble finding where technology fits in education. I had attended PD, read information and tried tools all trying to find where technology “fits” in this educational system. Try for the life of me; I could not wrap my head around its role. Currently, I feel like technology is used to replace and upgrade previous strategies. So instead of a DVD it may be a You Tube video. Instead of a physical game, it may be a game online. I might not model things the kids; an animation might do the trick. These are just really replacements or new ways to do things. I knew there was a giant leap needed forward but I still had trouble placing it in the current curriculum and existing systems. Words like time and resources always seemed to be factors that blocked me from moving forward. In theory, I knew that technological skills and understanding are vital. I know this is the future world for our kids. I completely agree that computer skills and understanding are essential for learning. Yet it just did not seem to fit in place. It is often overwhelming with the sheer amount of tools that are out there. It is overwhelming trying to search for a decent and relevant technological tools that will be embedded and not fade. In my mind, these things were clear but they never truly connected. The actual day-to-day place of technology felt so far removed from the reality of what I faced. Yet after hearing Sally talk, it connected with me. And it was all presented in a short and neat little package. CS + X. Simply put computer science plus a field. So computer science and art, computer science and medicine. It was like those light bulb moments that the kids have. Ah ha. Enhance, improve or modify. Maybe some part of me secretly held the belief that robots and computers would take over the world. But to have computer skills and science presented in an enhancement concept just made sense to me. I can see why technology skills and computational thinking skills can be used to improve and enhance medicine for example. It just seems to be a common sense way to approach technology. Not a full domination but a set of skills that may present a previously unknown and successful way of doing things. Computational thinking, analysing data and coding can be ways that we can strengthen existing things or create ways to solve challenges. Challenges in law, science, teaching, and economics you name it. Skills that will change the world. These are the skills that our kids will need to apply and use in their jobs and their future.
I am sure that there is much more to this but I just got a tasty snapshot. Sure, over the next fifty years I am sure that technology will replace many jobs and fill needs to make life easier for people. Look at how far we have already come. Part of me still feels a fear that technology will stop people from thinking about little things. Like it already has to some degree with calculating distances run, budgeting etc. There will always be that inner clash and struggle when it comes to change in society because people then need to adapt. Some do this quicker than others. However, now I feel just that little bit less fearful. #GAFE #EdTech #GoogleSummit #twocreativeteachers