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Educator: Digital 'Curriculum Needs to Catch Up With Reality'

Educator: Digital 'Curriculum Needs To Catch Up With Reality'

Former journalist and current educator Reuben Loewy as spent recent years creating a digital curriculum that aims to teach high school students beyond throwing new technology at students and instead giving students a complete education on digital citizenship, according to The Atlantic.

Living Online is Loewy's endeavor to give students "an honest, interdisciplinary high-school curriculum for the digital age—a program that would fundamentally shift how schools address kids’ virtual experiences," according to the article and "includes a dozen teaching modules that would be integrated into various classes."

Loewy launched Living Online in 2013 after he began to think that thus far, curriculum that incorporates technology "falsely assumes that today’s students intrinsically understand the nuanced ways in which technologies shape the human experience—how they influence an individual’s identity, for example, or how they advance and stymie social progress," according to the article.

In other words, students are handed the tools but not given the education to properly use them.

"'Without the knowledge, you’re not able to take advantage of the web and navigate it properly. You can’t be an informed, responsible, and critical member of society if you don’t have the education,'" Loewy said, according to the article.

Loewy speculates that teachers feel overburdened by the constantly changing apps and technology available for the classroom, and also that "many educators don't feel digitally literate. A shrinking but still relatively significant percentage of educators—especially those who are 55 and older—don’t feel confident with these new technologies, according to a 2013 Pew Research survey among roughly 2,500 AP and writing teachers," the article said.

He also warns against teaching the dangers of technology over teaching the purpose and use of it. "While it’s undoubtedly important to keep kids safe when they’re online, these focuses give kids 'a distorted view of the digital world,' Loewy writes. 'It is a view that reflects the fears of adults rather than the aspirations of youth.'"

Read the full article here and comment below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

4/23/2015

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