Teaching for Now and Not Yet

Recently, I spent hours creating a digital resume.  In truth, I have no use for it.  Why?  Partially, because I already have a job that I enjoy, but largely because it’s not how most employers currently access information about prospective employees. While most people no longer use the postal system to submit their resume, email performs a digital version of the same task.

Most employers do not sit around the table, tablets or laptops in hand, perusing a digital resume, looking through embedded media or links — at least not now.  But I don’t doubt that one day they will.  And that’s what I need to prepare my students for.  Consequently, I teach for now, and not yet.

I created my resume to model for my students the need to anticipate and create the future.  And there’s the dilemma.  In order to teach this way, we need to be visionary.  As teachers we need to be able to critically evaluate the skills our students need now, while anticipating what is on the horizon.

My curriculum states I need to teach resumes. I think digital resumes or portfolios are the future.  However, most of my students need a paper resume to use now. So, for now, I need to teach them how to create both.  In creating a digital resume, they’ll cultivate and create an on-line presence that can be managed and added to, and eventually, someday, they may use it to get a job.

Many would agree that video is the medium of the future.  And yet, so few of my students know how to use this tool effectively. I wonder why it’s not an objective that every student who graduates can shoot & edit video?  For me it is.  Consequently, using the curricular objectives that are outlined, which are mostly language & communication skills, I’ve created a language arts program at our school that supports each student in learning how to shoot & edit video by the time they graduate.

The curriculum I use is adequate, but it’s not visionary by a long shot.  It doesn’t purport 21st. Century skills as being pivotal to my student’s learning and growth as a learner.  And ICT skills such as blogging, bookmarking, and video creation, aren’t really mentioned outside of the tech curriculum.  So until my curriculum begins to look to the future, I need to do so.

I strongly believe technology is revolutionizing our world, and will continue to do so for a long time.  However, I think the people who might hold the power are those who can code.  Unfortunately, I can’t code and have nothing to offer my students in this area — now.   But in January I’ll be taking my first Intro to Javascript course.  Why? It’s an area I’m incredibly interested in, and excited to learn, but also because it’s the future my students need.

We need to model for our students now, and not yet.  What does this mean for you?

About shelleywright

I love education & learning, which likely explains why I'm a teacher. My areas are ELA, Sr. sciences, and technology. My classroom is best described as a student-centred, tech embedded pbl/inquiry learning environment. Furthermore, I am Buck Institute for Education National Faculty member
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7 Responses to Teaching for Now and Not Yet

  1. Well said, Shelley!

    Yesterday I participated on a panel at the Chicago Constitutional Rights Foundation’s “Technology and the Constitution” conference. Our session explored the impact technology is having on news dissemination and collection and how that affects our roles as classroom history teachers. You would have loved it. Teaching for the now and the not yet is right on!


  2. edwin bruce says:

    Good on you for taking the JavaScript course – not for the faint of heart. It occurs to me there is a massive up-skilling program required to equip both teachers of Digital Technologies but all teachers in the use of 21st century tools. The challenge is helping students acquire more than just usage skills, they need a deeper understanding of ICT if they are to truly exploit the options available.

  3. Pingback: Teaching for Now and Not Yet | Wright'sRoom | Future Trends and Advances In Education and Technology | Scoop.it

  4. Nicole Waite says:

    This is very inspirational Shelley! I really like how you are teaching your kids what they have to know according to curriculum and the current societal practices but you are also anticipating what the students will need in the future. They may not realize it now but they will when they need these tools in the future and how amazing it was that they are able to learn this from you. I am currently teaching in my first block of teachers college and my school is pushing for blended learning so my students all have laptops. I am implimenting ways to use technology in the class by having a website, class blog, and using google docs to create collaborative resources. These are small steps that I am trying as a student-teacher to get ideas of what to use in my future classroom and to help promote the development of 21st century skills!

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