On Demand Learning: The ever growing need for guidance.

It’s not enough to have access to the multitudes of applications and learning objects available. Have you looked at what Apple’s App store has to offer in way of educational apps? Someone has figured out that there is a generation of parents out there that feel less guilty about giving their two year old child an iPhone to play with if they are learning something.. but this behaviour may only be a gesture as the fallacy of learning by accident may open a harsh reality in the future of these children’ s learning continuum.

It would be very difficult for me to argue that mobile devices and learning apps are misguided since I have my two young children using the iPad as often as they wish… but I do so with deep involvement.  If there is one thing that will never change it is this: Adult supervision and guidance in learning, play and socialization will always be an advantage. And if all else fails, there is always the teacher…

I chuckle when I learn that teachers may be intimidated by the onset of wonderful technlogocial tools fearing for the future of their profession. Funny enough that I see it to be quite the opposite.  I have observed close to three thousand students this year as they operate in a wireless environment, continue to be at their teachers’ desks asking for guidance and ideas. I have also observed my own toddlers struggle quietly with a ‘learning’ app and wondered if I or my wife were not present, just how far the iPhone would fly across the room.

The calculator didn’t change the way students learned – it changed how they solved problems – all new technology is meant to diversify problem solving and access information – not change learning – ever – it’s just not possible.  Think about the myriad of learning styles, environments and levels of access to income which link to access to technology, caring parents and guardians… technology cannot bridge those gaps… at  least not yet. The ever-dominant processor that is the human being simply cannot be replaced in the realm of education.  Although we are constantly asked to change, our role has been accepted as all-too-necessary and as the teaching population becomes more educated about technology, we poise ourselves to be the single most influential profession in the world. We will guide our students into realms not yet invented and corporate civilization as we know it will come to depend on what our students produce even more so…


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