In recent years, the school's demands for increased digitization have increased and requirements for students' digital competence have been incorporated into all curricula. The reason is that the European Parliament has decided that digital literacy is now to be regarded as one of the eight basic competencies that all people are considered to need to acquire in order to function fully as democratic citizens. Since then, the government and the National Agency for Education have done their best to reinforce the subjects in all curriculums.
The Government Offices believes, among other things, that "properly used, digitization can make it easier for pupils, children and pupils' guardians to stay informed about the child's or pupil's development".
The moment I read these words, I am taken back to 1995 when I was standing in the library with Bill Gates brand new book "The Road to the Future" in my hand. The book came at a time when a multimedia computer was the coolest thing that one could own and the Internet was still spelt with a capital I. In the book, my idol described the future and I specifically remember the example of how school students in the future would have access to homework and assessments around the clock and no one would need to carry papers anymore. It is surprising that the government's text, which was written 22 years later, still presents the same idea as a vision for the future. One may wonder why that is.
Most young people today are familiar with the use of digital resources. They are familiar with various games and social media, they explore apps and systems and unfortunately often consider the entire internet as a secret and adult-free place where ordinary rules don't really apply. The digital life of our teens is so secret that Prince and His Majesty Prince Carl Philip of Sweden recently published the book "Handbook for Online Parents" to give the adult world a chance to keep up with what's happening.
Suddenly a comparison with sex-education appears in my brain. I imagine a picture of a teacher who is sweating and try to hide the fact that they find the subject tremendously embarrassing. In many cases, students have far more advanced thoughts and experiences than the teacher is comfortable to teach about. The younger generation has since long run past the older ones who are trying to compete as best they can and limit the teaching focus on the importance of protecting oneself and not to make a fool out of yourself. . .
My solution to this whole thing is that the school must invite far more actors who can act together to build the digital classroom. This is not a task that can rest solely on the teachers! No other workplace in the world would tell their employees that they must create and use a digital system at the same time as they have to do their already often stressful job? Here, the schools must open up for a collaboration with other professions and let everyone can be an expert in their field. The teachers' role is to signal their needs, but others build the systems and solve the problems. The librarian handles issues on information retrieval and copyright and the technicians develop the needed digital systems. Teachers should be customers of digital solutions, but they can never be inventors, entrepreneurs, technicians and, well. . . teachers at the same time.
The solutions should just appear! That's when the students can learn about them!
I am the technician who became a librarian, but who got tired of the quiet and peaceful life at the library and started working as a teacher. I brought with me everything I knew about databases, information retrieval and networks and soon I was an ICT-educator. Today, I work as a teacher at Komvux in Norrköping.
I have always had a nerdy great interest in technology. I can find interest in everything from robots to model railroads or the steel industry of the industrial revolution. Technology should take us forward and prevent us from everything boring. You need to dare to be somewhat lazy and ask yourself if there is no easier way to get something done. The human desire to get away is what has driven the technical development and find time for other things. Like model railroads, for instance!
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