Restructuring the Education System for the 21st Century Learner

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Introduction
Technology is building bridges between people on opposite sides of the globe. Technology affects almost every part of our lives, our communities, and our homes, yet most schools lag far behind when it comes to integrating technology into classroom learning. Many schools are just beginning to consider the potential and advancement technology puts forth, enhancing, teaching and learning. Technology will help students learn the skills they need to survive the complex highly technological knowledge-based society of the future. As technology is expanding and becoming more advanced in today’s society, it is essential for today’s youth to become familiar and understand how to use it in the workforce, school, and in everyday use. The current focus on testing in schools, and the idea that there is only one right answer to a question, may be hampering development of creativity among today’s youth. Incorporating technology in the secondary and post-secondary education system is beneficial to today’s youth, as it allows for new ideas to be put forth as well as encouraging a new way of thinking. New ways of communicating by the use of technology are being established every day; communicative technology has drastically changed the way society operates, it is essential that students are aware of these changes. The education system in Ontario would greatly benefit by being restructured to reflect the needs of the twenty-first century learner by introducing technology-based learning, encouraging creativity and expanding communication resources to enhance the intellectual capital of our province and country. Introducing Technology-Based Learning

In order to enhance our province and country’s intellectual capital technology must be introduced into the education curriculum. Society is welcoming the idea of incorporating technology; however schools straggle far behind when it comes to the twenty-first century style of learning. “Workforce globalization is making people increasingly reliant on digital tools to communicate and collaborate with peers, and employers expect the people they hire to be digitally savvy right from the start.” (Mensoza) It is essential that educators’ help students prepare for and excel in a twenty-first century workplace so it is critical that twenty-first century learning be incorporated in the curriculum. Equally important, educators’ need to help them ride those new waves of technology and opportunity that are emerging in an ever-evolving digital world. As students are more educated in the new age of learning, it will enhance the intellectual capital of Ontario and Canada; as the students will be further educated and aware of the high technological place the world is today this will give Ontario and Canada a competitive edge. Successful technology integration must be incorporated into the curriculum in four key components of learning; active engagement, participation in groups, frequent interaction and feedback, and connection to real-world, research proves these four components enhance the learning process. (Staff) As well as learning how to use technology in the classroom and workforce, it is important for students to have the tools accessible to them; such as computers and smart boards, which will further develop their knowledge and experience with technology. Educators are establishing web portals for students to access information on the subjects they are covering in school, this allows for easy access at school as well as at home. Some teachers have taken this new phenomenon as far as creating Twitter accounts specifically for a subject or class, which allows students to access their tweets and to be aware of information related to their class or homework they are assigned. (Vartan) By incorporating technology into the curriculum it benefits students in everyday technological usage and convenience, which improves their knowledge of technology in a workforce and day to day circumstances. The...
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