Two weeks before Christmas. For the majority of high school students in Belgium, this means exams. Also for my son, Thomas.
Thomas is a typical example of a digital native. Born with access to all kinds of technology. Very self-evident to him…. It also makes him more of a multi-tasker (in his mind anyway….). He’s one of those children that can for example watch YouTube, while reading. We often get into fights about this. I ask him to concentrate. He says this is concentration for him. And, most of the time, I must admit, his grades prove him to be right.
Thomas is a very visual learner. In my opinion, the majority of children are, actually. Or at least a combination of visual and physical learning. I think the days are gone, that as an educator, you can actually capture and hold on to the attention of these young learners, with a piece of chalk and a blackboard.
All children are different, and thus learn different. In addition to the main categories like visual or physical, there are up to seventy different learning styles! One of the biggest challenges in teaching, is to cater to all those different styles and to personalize learning. And that is exactly where I have seen technology play a big role.
Of course, interactive display technology will help in visualizing, and support active participation of students. But the most value, I see today, are those learning platforms like I3LEARNHUB, that help teachers in better one-to-one teaching and follow up. Together with more and more advanced digital content, this is a tremendous resource for all teachers.
No matter how well you are supported by technology as a teacher, the biggest difference remains passion, however. Also for Thomas. He will sometimes surprise me with really good (or bad) grades in a subject that the period before was the reverse. When I ask him why, he will always say the same: it’s the teacher, dad!