Using Online Programs to Centre Students in the Twenty-First Century

Using Online Programs to Centre Students in the Twenty-First Century

Pedro José Arrifano Tadeu, Carlos Brigas
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5085-3.ch005
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Because of the exponential growth of the internet and ICT, we, as promoters of education, should always be aware of the changes that society is endorsing outside of the classroom. The student is no longer the same introverted child that studied in the workbenches years ago. Today students belong to a time with smartphones, tablets, and a wide range of new portable technologies. Today's students are used to seeking different forms and ways of motivation in and out of the classroom, and they want the teaching and learning process to integrate with society and its latest technologies. The number of internet users has increased tenfold from 1999 to 2014. The first billion was reached in 2005, the second billion in 2010, the third billion in 2014. This means access to the world wide web is increasing rapidly. In 2020, the percentage will rise again, and consequently, an incredibly large number of people, youngsters and adults, will have access to the internet. The slogan that drives the world today is anywhere… anytime!
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Education community knows stories regarding the way that education is going nowadays, specifically concerning classroom environment and the way that educators teach. Here is one of my stories:

Imagine that a doctor from the middle of 19th century arrives today to an operating room in the hospital. Well, would be incredibly desperate for him, how to deal with all the different technologies and materials that exist, and of course, even if some technics are the same, the way that we use them should be rather different. Now, imagine a teacher from the same century arriving at a normal daily classroom, the story could be different. Maybe in most of our schools, he doesn’t have any problem to fit... (Tadeu, 2017, personal story)

Where is the natural evolution that goes along with the society? Where are the necessary changes?

The process of teaching in the 21st century, unfortunately, did not change much regarding the society changes, the example could be a little exaggerated, but the idea behind it is true.

The teaching and learning process had suffered several changes at times, but looking carefully at what it is happening now, the feeling that we need a continued adaptation to the incredible speed that changes our life. The technological advancements are playing very important role in our lives, and we are getting addicted to them (Dailey Alerts, 2016), that’s why we to take a look to them and use the best according to our needs.

The exponential growth of the internet and ICT, forces us, as promoters of education, to be always aware of changes that society is introducing outside of the classroom. The student is no longer the same introverted child that studied in the workbench of fifteen or twenty years ago, the adult is no longer the same person closed at home, taking care of the daily life routines. Lifelong learning is here to promote significant changes in the way we see education, the learning should not be restricted to a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, instead, there should be opportunities for all by the necessary means. We are living with smartphones, tablets, and a wide range of news portable technologies at our disposal, and we should go along with this new era.

The old-fashioned notion of a three-stage approach to our working lives is ending. We used to divide our work into three specific steps: education, work and retirement. Now the life expectancy is going up (Hanowell, 2016), a huge number of people is adapting their lives to discover that they need more than one job, each one with totally different roles, so they can live facing their daily needs (MindTools, 2017).

The way that we approach education should be different, not only for students but also for the adult population. ICT, like all things, has good and negative aspects. We should pay attention to all these aspects, because it could keep a group of learners’ attention to misuse technology, for instance, the leisure time activities, thus spend less time on learning and study. The role of the educator is essential in order to keep the focus on what is important and to reveal the clear purpose of the ICT tools regarding education.

Lately, the majority of countries have been in crisis, which is being reflected in funding of some areas, especially the field of education, when such drastic cuts are made, no area goes unscathed, including education (Hull, 2010). Due to all this, there is an obvious pressure to increase the use of ICT in education and to support freeware materials, they exist and are extent along the web, only need to be gather and share in a common platform. Thus there are more reasons to support and to present different ways that could be used to spread the information and create new and interesting materials for learners.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Content Development Tools: Online platforms that enable students create and share their own content.

Social Tools: Online tools that promote socialization, share and find new ideas. Enable students to create a web contact.

Instructional Tools: Platforms and frameworks with course materials online, and some of them enable students to substitute part of their traditional courses with online options.

Digital Literacy: Includes all digital skills that students and future workers need now and will later need in the digital age of the twenty-first century and beyond. Nowadays it is necessary for any action to be possessing knowledge in the field of ICT use, the teaching or labor market requires the ability to use, interpret, adapt, and create digital images in the most diverse formats, platforms, or devices.

Personal Tools: Online that enable students and children create content.

Gamification: Defined as the use of game in educational environments.

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