My Teaching Philosophy 2.0
Since finishing my own formal education, my teaching philosophy (what I like to call the "beta" version) has undergone many upgrades. From the beginning I have understood teaching, not as a process of cramming knowledge, but rather as one that empowers students with successful habits and attitudes. With the ability to run a Google search on a cell phone, for example, we now have instant access to all knowledge everywhere. While my core teaching principles have remained--employing developmentally, culturally, and individually appropriate strategies based on theory as well as practice--my improved philosophy now addresses the changes brought about by the digital information age, as described by Thomas Friedman's The World is Flat and Daniel Pink's A Whole New Mind. Over the last few years, I have refined my craft to empower students with more 21st-century specific skills that will be necessary for them to not only survive but to thrive in the new global society.
I believe educators and universities today need to adapt in order to equip our next generation with the skills they need to secure a place in the global market--a position that will not be outsourced, digitized or automated. It is our professional and moral responsibility to teach children how to use these powerful internet tools ethically and in an informed manner. In the last few years, my classrooms have become a studio in which the students act as designers, publishers, and producers that are blogging, podcasting, collaborating, networking, remixing, directing, programming, filtering, and advanced searching. They are using free technology, Web 2.0 and open source, as a tool to use their new skills to construct meaningful learning products that also make a contribution to a larger community on the Web. As I stand on the brink of this technological and informational revolution, my teaching with technology philosophy (now "Version 2.0") can be summed up by the following: it is not what you know (memorizing facts), but rather who you know (social networking and community), how and where you find that knowledge (using Google), and why that information is right (reliability and accuracy of sources).