I have really been enjoying Dean Shareski, David Warlick and others latest blogging about audience and traction. Warlick's latest post got me thinking again about the fact that we should not be focusing on the tech.
I think we need to focus on what we can do to make our students better today. To me that means teaching them to communicate and collaborate because those are the skills that often lead to success. So how do we teach them to achieve those things? We can teach them how to present themselves well through multiple mediums. Whether its on paper, a blog, a video, a slidedeck, a podcast etc. They need to be able to communicate well but they need to be able to do it well in all of those mediums. No longer is being able to write enough to impress a college admissions officer or potential employer. We expect more. We expect them to collaborate, to be a ‘team player’. That now means not only within their classroom, their division, their company, their industry but globally to all competitors, colleagues and consumers. If our students don't feel comfortable collaborating with people not only across the room who they are somewhat comfortable with but with people they have never met. If they are not comfortable with the idea of being transparent with their ideas and willing to engage with others and defend their opinions then we are doing them a disservice.
Fortune 500 companies are on Twitter, Facebook, they are blogging and posting videos on YouTube. Why are they doing all that? So they can communicate and collaborate.
So no, we don’t want to use tech for the sake of tech. We want to teach our students to communicate and collaborate and it just so happens that a portion of that now involves technology.