Dealing with the “Techies”

“If we teach today’s students the same way we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow.” -John Dewey  (Kevin Baloyi, 2017 EdTech Summit Africa Presenter) 

For the students to be effective in everything they do, they need to be taught the way they want to learn. Experiential learning is important because learners are able to learn at their own pace. We are dealing with the net generation and we should take advantage of what they love and use it to enhance their learning. Most of the learners have smart phones and they are always glued on their phones. Instead of confiscating the tool, use it to your advantage as an educator. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying technology is a solution, technology is just a tool that can improve teaching and learning. It is a tool that will never replace educators.

Educators have an important role to play in the learners’ lives. In as much as technology can be a bridge between teaching and learning, learners also need social emotional development and technology cannot be that tool. Educators are still needed in the lives of the “wireless generation”. To teach, and more importantly, to reach today’s digital generation, you need to be able to integrate digital tools into your online classroom curriculum. With the increase in mobile devices also has emerged an amazing array of apps.

As technology advances and as the Internet has become fully integrated into the personal lives of learners, this new “wireless generation” demands always-on access. Learners need to access instruction in meaningful learning environments, and they need this access from any place, any time, and any other – in the classroom, on the school bus, in the library, in a car, hanging out with friends, or at home. 

In order to keep our learners excited about learning, let us teach them the way they want to learn. At the end of the day we are not teaching the subject but we are teaching human beings. Let us shift from the autocratic leadership in a classroom to a democratic leadership, where learners and teachers engage and learn together.  (Kevin Baloyi and attendee, EdTech Summit Africa 2017)

As educators, we need to speak the same language. We need to work together because we have a common goal that we all need to achieve. We want to see our learners equipped with knowledge and understanding. Let us use what they already have and already know. At the end of the day we want to satisfy the needs of the learner, not our needs as educators. Be an educator with the difference. 

My duty is to continue being the Global Minded Educator and make sure that I empower both, the teachers and students. I chose Education because I want to change the world! 

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Author: Kevin Baloyi

Kevin Baloyi was born and bred in Alexandra Township, Johannesburg, South Africa. After graduating from the LEAP Science and Maths School and following a gap year, Kevin joined the Future Leaders Program in 2014 with plans to become a teacher. He is currently working at LEAP in Johannesburg as a student teacher and is a student at the University of South Africa studying for his Bachelors of Education. Kevin was part of a select group of teachers-in-training who traveled to the U.S. in 2016 as a part of a Global Teachers Institute and Teach WIth Africa exchange program studying schools and programs in California. Kevin is passionate about Education and Technology and has taught himself many technology strategies that he plans to incorporate in his teaching. Kevin presented at the AXIS Summit in July 2016, about the importance of the objectives concerning the lesson plan. He was also part of the EdTech Summit Africa in 2016 as a presenter, talking about the Millennial Generation and Game-Based Learning. He recently started a production business, designing logos as well as taking and editing videos.

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