Who uses Facebook, Twitter or Slack to its full potential? Who manages their passwords with ease and security or knows how to open the front lock of their house with their phone? Do you enjoy watching a World of Warcraft tournament on Twitch? Are you comfortable navigating with Oculus? Can you print in 3D? The new technological offerings continue to pour in, not to mention the professional applications of BIM in construction, CAD in engineering or tele-medicine.
The easy answer is that you can very well do without these technologies and stick with traditional practices... if you are willing to be gradually sidelined; many are taking that route in education. Recently I saw what was required of a high school teacher to run a hybrid class. I don't think I'd like to do that kind of teaching over and over again; I understand teachers to keep it simple and choose pedagogy over technology. This doesn't alleviate the feeling of being overwhelmed by this ubiquitous technicality. The sense of competence is an essential part of learning; it is sought.
The assumption that digital natives are all tech-savvy is false. They may be adept with FB but rarely with Excel or any of the useful software for organizing or producing. They have to be learned. Since these applications are constantly evolving, it is better to focus on principles than on specific products. Principles of programming, ergonomics, navigation, logic, sound technology, image technology, 3D design, principles of filing, indexing, organization, communication, security... it ends up being a lot! The school can really help to keep its students in the loop, provided that it knows how to prioritize what will soon become essential, this baggage of generic technological knowledge that is beginning to take shape.
It can also set an example on the side of accessibility by adopting methods that will ensure that no one will be left out because the entrance to the digital world is closed to them because of a disability. The general impression of being a bit out of date persists, no one can keep up with the pace of innovation in all areas. But at least we can stay in the know enough to have a say in their evolution and the place they will take in our lives.
Denys Lamontagne - [email protected]