2 The Literacy Of Future Generations Lies In Our Hands

Samantha Richards

America’s education system is a well discussed topic and its need for reconstruction is nothing new to Americans. The first step in solving any problem is being able to view the issue clearly from all angles. Many people fear that with the increase in technology children will become reliant on it, and put less time and effort into their education. Some people also believe that this will not stop with students, but that the level of education will decrease, and teachers will not push students as hard to reach their full potential. Jacob Babb, author and assistant professor of English, paraphrases Merrill Sheila’s view on technology in the education system. In Why Johnny Can’t Write Sheila blames technology for the “semiliterate” generation, explaining that it is the root cause of children’s lack of understanding regarding the english language. While technology does have its drawbacks when used appropriately it has been proven to enhance student learning by improving engagement, making relative connections, and using straightforward techniques. Others place the blame on teachers, saying that they simply aren’t doing enough. With the constant engagement students receive from technology, teachers are now expected to step up and create more interactive lesson plans to keep up with student shortened attention spans. Now more than ever teachers are striving to differentiate and lead each student to meet their educational, social, and physical goals. The classroom has looked more different than it ever has with teachers constantly finding new games, and teaching styles to keep students interested in the material. So where must we improve? The education system. The system currently in place was designed for a society that no longer exists. As the students, the teachers, and the technology changes, so must the education. America’s education system must be evaluated and adapted to fit into our current society, which will allow students to grow and thrive.

There is a growing concern for the literacy of America’s children even though learning goals have become increasingly more difficult, leading to even smarter students. In the last few tech kids there has been a large shift in the education system. The previous focus of schooling was built on the memorization of math and english while today’s classrooms lean heavily toward innovation, and the STEAM program. The current generation has made leaps and bounds in the technological and medical fields and are continuing to reach new discoveries and create new inventions. “There is no literacy crisis. Instead, the concept of literacy continues to become more complex … Like all human institutions, education is inherently flawed, and teachers, students, parents and others must always consider ways and initiatives to improve literacy education”.

The largest thing holding back the next generation is the fact that we are teaching them to live in a world that no longer exists. We must reconsider what the purpose behind educating students is, what they need to know to succeed, and what we must prepare them for.

While the difference has been small, classrooms are slowly shifting their focus to create mindful, forward thinking students who have the ability to go beyond expectations. The system has begun to change direction for a new generation of thinkers and creators. The economic and educational backgrounds in the education system continue to broaden. The diversity has brought new ideas and a growth in knowledge, allowing us to make new discoveries and reach heights we couldn’t have imagined.

As a future educator this topic is one that comes up often in conversation with other colleagues. Teachers are often trying to create new, more engaging lessons, and sharing fun games on teacher sites. Educators are constantly trying to take the current curriculums and make them work. Instead of trying to fight against the system, it would be more effective to create a new system tailored to the needs of the students of 2022. One that uses technology to enhance learning and plays off of the strengths of each student. A system in which all students have the ability to achieve, and not only enjoy learning but seek it out. This would be a generation that surpasses all others.

What is truly holding students back is not technology or teachers, but the outdated educational systems and reluctance to change. In the past several decades the landscape of America has changed drastically. Technology has become a necessity and is in almost every American household. Children are experiencing a different world than previous generations but are being taught using outdated guidelines. Teachers are speaking out, saying that just using differentiation isn’t enough. Students aren’t engaged by worksheets and PowerPoint, and teachers must use a more tactile approach. Hands on learning is no longer just for preschool, but is being seen in many elementary classrooms. The responsibility doesn’t fall solely on educators but on parents, principals, and the current generation to push for a change in what and how we teach. We must do more to cause a true impact.

In a future in which the education system is modified to meet the needs of this generation’s students, they will continue to surprise the world with their brilliance. Technology will act as a catalyst to further learning and teachers will serve as mentors guiding the future generation toward greatness. In order to best prepare our children for the world we must provide them with an education system that effectively gives them the knowledge that they’ll need to succeed.

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Good Ideas About Writing by Samantha Richards is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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