The New World

In 2001 approximately 750 million across the globe had access to the internet. Today nearly 3.2 billion are connected. That being said, living in Canada (nearly 90% of Canadians are online) it's easy to forget that more than half the world still lives without an internet connection.  Here we all see it, everywhere, all the time. Digital technology, social media and online living is simply how life now unfolds. Those born after the 90s, and all those who follow, have grown up with this environment being the norm. and it will only continue to advance with each passing year.

The bottom line is digital technologies have transformed learning of all kinds across curricula everywhere. Such an assertion is neither pejorative nor constructive, but a simple statement of fact that people must deal with the world over. The advantageous and detrimental factors that come with any quantum shift in how human beings live, work and learn should not be the focus (although it all too often is). Just as the Scientific and Industrial Revolutions changed the schemata of human life, the Technological Revolution, of which we are now in the throes, is changing every aspect of our existence. Life will adapt, for better or for worse, with or without those who choose to accept the world as it is.

When it comes to those involved in education, training and professional development, those involved in such an environment, more than any other, must re-think, re-plan and re-execute effective learning. In the midst of revolutionary change, we must learn to harness technology for the future, not only for the betterment of their those learning, but for those whose careers are based around the transfer of knowledge to others. In other words, it is a matter of survival.

Simultaneously, as in the haste of any revolution, that which came before cannot be left entirely behind. Scaffolding traditional  methodologies and management techniques, with the demanding realities of a technologically driven world is now more important than ever. The dramatic shift to a technology based learning environment can isolate people from one another. By extension, methodology standards, such as modelling, independent and guided practices, and anticipatory sets are still very essential to learning. Regardless of the delivery method, the course of intellectual development occurs when speech and practical activity converge and the methodologies we use are the vessels by which we ensure the most effective transfer of this process.

Sustaining motivation to learn is strongly dependent on the learner’s confidence in his or her learning potential, and why classroom management also continues to be vital to creating such paradigms within individual students and learning collectivities. Knowing the world in which learning takes place and the quantum shift that is unfolding responsible for creating this new technological biosphere is paramount to the survival of effective learning in the 21st century.