I have to admit I was surprised to see a document on 21st Century Learning with former Premier Gordon Campbell’s name on it. Wasn’t it just two months ago that the government of BC with Campbell at the helm proposed to drop small business taxes to 0% over the coming years? Where would funding for public education come from? Now there is a document promoting a movement in BC’s Education? Any movement takes money. Further, I am still wondering why the document came from his former Technology Committee and not the Ministry of Education? You can see the news release at:
I have to agree with one of the reader responses from Janet Steffenhagen’s article in the Vancouver Sun:
“You can’t have 21st century learning with 20th century funding!”
There is a lot of truth to this and it comes as frustration from educators who must use the archaic BCeSIS program on hardware that is simply dated and dying. As for money, there are kids in our schools that play on floors that are cleaned every second day because of budgetary cutbacks. Yes, really. We are in a time of “doing more or staying afloat, with less.” However with all the gripes aside, it is true that 21st Century Learning is upon us. We are in a time when personal technology devices have infiltrated all levels of society and we can’t avoid that fact that social media and technology are integral pieces of our society whether we want to admit it or not. I have had my students use their devices constructively many times to support their learning and so far it has worked well. Just like anything else, there are the negatives such as the student who doesn’t have their own personal device. We haven’t come far enough to be able to account for the shortcomings of the ‘fluffy’ movement with simple contingency plans to address issues such as a fair education for all students. What am I supposed to give the students who do not own their own savvy personal tech devices? At this point, we all have to be creative in developing critical thinking and problem solving skills that will match the 21st Century Learning jargon, and remember that it isn’t about the tech but instead, it is about how it is used.
I still find it odd that the Premier’s Tech Council has submitted the document and not the Ministry of Education. Which foot is leading this movement? Like I said earlier, we just have to be creative til there is an actual plan for the movement. There are so many great things happening around 21st Century Learning in BC; it just seems to me that the Campbell government is trying to catch up with this release.