In education, especially when you’re involved with technologies and e-learning there seems to be a constant barrier in place trying to hold things back. I often hear about the lack of connectivity of many of our students or their families. Or I hear about the issue of money or affordability. These are all valid concerns, but for how long should we hold back before we decide to do something that would benefit a great number of students.
So often in education we look at the few that can’t do something and that holds us back. Yes, I understand we want equity across all, but surely we also want to offer a better quality education. How long should we stay where we are just so we’re not leaving anyone behind? What about looking for ways to help those who cannot access or cannot afford the technology?
To quote Star Trek… Should “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few”?
Personally, I think they should.
At some point, we need to say, we’re going to move forward because we don’t want to leave everyone behind. The world is changing at a very rapid pace. If we don’t jump on-board, what we offer is going to become meaningless or perhaps obsolete.
We live in a world where people are collaborating, creating, sharing, presenting, innovating, interacting and socialising more than ever. These skills were already necessary, but are seemingly even more necessary. These skills need to be taught, not just in face-to-face situations but also virtually. The skills are at least a little different in both situations but our students need to be able to manage in both situations.
At my workplace, I meet with staff in meeting rooms face-to-face, and at the same time I might be meeting with staff in several other offices either through Video Conferencing, Adobe Connect or similar. I imagine this is going to get more and more common as time goes on.
I’m not saying we leave those who can’t access or afford things behind, but let’s also not disadvantage the future lives of those who can. Let’s educate our students to be successful citizens of the time they live in and try to prepare them to be successful citizens in their future.