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Educators Must Learn to Teach in a Digitized World

6/29/2013 3:03 pm

Teacher and students

Technology is changing what it means to have a career in teaching, and with many schools embracing the use of digital content in the classroom, educators will need to learn to teach in an increasingly digitized world.

When integrated into K-12 classrooms, technology can help students build the 21st century skills they'll need to be successful, in addition to increasing student engagement and accelerating learning, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

"Technology is not the thing," Pam Grossman, professor of education at Stanford University's graduate school of education, told Education Week. "It's what it enables."

According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 92 percent of middle and high school teachers said the Internet has a "major impact" on their ability to access content, materials and resources for their teaching.

School districts are making the shift to digital for a variety of reasons. For some, it's the appeal of saving money - e-textbooks can constantly be updated for a fraction of the cost of print textbooks - while some are simply trying to better prepare their students for the careers of the 21st century.

In either case, what's clear is that technology will likely have an effect on the way teachers teach well into the future.

"We're standing on the precipice of the role of the teacher changing dramatically in the next several years," Thackston Lundy, chief of staff at the Relay Graduate School of Education, told Education Week. "New technology and better data will change how we structure the school day, what students learn, and how we organize K-12 classrooms. The role of a great teacher will be more important than ever."


Western Governors University is a nonprofit, accredited, online university. WGU's Teachers College offers multiple online degree programs for current teachers or those looking to become teachers. Find out more about WGU's Teachers College!

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