The Technological Era

Technology in the 21st Century Classrooms
Peta-Gay Mckenzie
Church Teachers’ College: Mandeville

  Has technology extended our brains or limit our thinking, given the rapid pace at which it is growing? The human mind, as powerful as it is, is no longer powerful enough for our world, the human capabilities are just not enough (Prensky, 2013). Technology is supposed to make our lives easier by allowing us to do things more quickly and efficiently, however, it places a daunting gloom on the growth of the human intellectual capacity. In 2001, Marc Prensky warned us that, "Our students have changed radically. Today's students are no longer the people our educational system was designed to teach." He went on to describe how these digital natives are being exposed to more gadgets and technology than was ever thought possible. This is having a profound effect on the ways in which children learn. They are more engaged in learning when using the latest technological gadgets, because it is what they are most used to interacting with. Our students don't just want mobile learning, they need it. This essay will be primarily focussed on: (1) how applicable, relevant and effective Prensky’s subjects are in the Jamaican classroom and in the 21st century, (2) the feasibility and implications of Prensky’s ideas on teachers and policy makers and (3) The proposal of a new initiative that can be used to revitalize and improve the teaching and learning of a traditional subject area with the integration of technology.
One of the main tenants of Prensky’s article is his proposal of a new curriculum, which includes three subject areas namely: Effective thinking, Effective action and Effective relationships. Effective thinking encompasses creative and critical thinking as well as portions of math, science, logic, persuasion, and even storytelling (Prensky, 2013). From Mr. Prensky’s article it can be deduced that, this subject area is heavily dependent on technology and its various...