Adapt or die

Sunday, June 14th, 2009 | Computer Usage, technology

A few decades ago Computer Aided Design (CAD) software packages became commercially available. CAD programmes automated the drawing of technical diagrams.  The software made it possible to draw diagrams in a few minutes that previously took draughtsmen hours – if not days – to complete, and with greater accuracy.

Surprisingly, many draughtsmen resisted the use of CAD software, feeling that it posed a threat to their careers.  They’ve spent years developing drawing skills – if computers were to be used to draw diagrams, what were they going to do?

Some farsighted draughtsmen accepted the change and learned to use CAD software.  They discovered that it took the drudgery out of their jobs and allowed them time to focus on higher level design tasks.  For them CAD proved to be a productivity boon.

Today practically all technical drawings are done by means of CAD.  Those draughtsmen who did not embrace technology were phased out over time. 

Educators are in a similar situation today. Technology is changing the face of education but, sadly, some educators are not prepared to accept the challenge to learn new skills. It is not as if they are scared of technology – they fear that technology will take over their jobs. If computers are used for teaching, what will teachers do?  They resist technology because they see it as a threat to their careers.

Visionary educators behave differently. They embrace opportunities that allow them to elevate their personal involvement to a higher level; technology enables them to be true facilitators of the learning process, while using computers for more mundane things such as admin tasks, drill and practice and the dissemination of learning content.

Where will educators find themselves in a decade from now if they do not adapt to a mode of education where technology plays a significant role?

Remember what happened to the draughtsmen!

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8 Comments to Adapt or die

s
Sunday, 14 June, 2009

THank you for this life lesson.

ALBIE
Sunday, 14 June, 2009

You want straight A’s in your LA ?

Adapt, Accomodate, Access and Accept and keep on Living (instead of dying) in education …. thus embrace TECHNOLOGY.

Work “physical” hard was the motto so many years ago, but it changed to ….. Don’t work Harder (CHALK), but Smarter (INTERACTIVE WHITEBOARDS) !!!

This is the point, technology (e.g. EIAWB) enhances your antiquated teaching styles and methods vs e.g. a chalkboard, it “speed-up” your curriculum delivery process, it “keeps” record of your marks in Excel, it gives “motion” to your lessons activities, it gives you neat and legible letters, it gives you immediate access to knowledge (internet) and so on……

Technology going to replace me in a “classroom” ? No ways, it is going to UPLIFT me and going to give me “time” to focus on other educational “issues” !! Taking my facilitating job over ? No ways, someone needs to “explain” the mechanism of the technology and the software – and that is ME !!

Albie Educator from 1980 – 2080 and beyond.

Sharon Elin
Sunday, 14 June, 2009

Kobus, you’ve provided a compelling analogy showing that progress moves on and that employees must adapt to the changes. And like the CAD example, using technology in education can “take the drudgery” out of teaching/learning and provide a means of focusing on higher level tasks.

That said, and I know you’ve written about the following point before, I would want to add that just as in the CAD situation, the tool by itself can do no better than the person operating it. A mediocre engineer would not use a CAD system and develop superior drafts just because the tool is used — the content and the placement and design plan would matter. Likewise, a mediocre teacher or one who does not know how to incorporate technology effectively will not be able to simply throw technology into his/her lesson plans and create a more engaging and effective learning experience.

Thanks for the great analogy!

kvanwyk
Sunday, 14 June, 2009

You are so right, Sharon! Your point simply emphasises the enormous task we are facing: training our teachers and helping them to come to grips with technology. This task is MUCH bigger than the provisioning of technology to schools. And it is an ongoing task …

Shelley
Monday, 15 June, 2009

Thank you for this great post.

It makes me wonder if there were amazing CAD evangelists. I find myself trying to imagine what the conversations between the earliest and later CAD adopters were like. Also between the adopters and non-adopters.

I work in a school and am on the lookout for places to poke my lever in and lean. And I am not alone.

Dereck Marnewick
Monday, 15 June, 2009

It’s all about change management.

Firstly convince the decision maker(s) of the need for change/adaptation.

Secondly supply the decision maker(s) the necessary tools/skills to manage the required change/adaptation.

But people will only change/adapt if they see the value and/or necessity to do so. This is the real challenge we face, and probably the only way to achieve this is by appropriate marketing.

Dereck Marnewick
Saturday, 10 October, 2009

Another angle to adapt or die…

So much has been written regarding the tremendous burden teachers face regarding assessment. Surely the use of appropriate software can help with this process.

Adapt or die … what about creating a discussion around electronic assessment vs paper based assessment?

PerryPam18
Thursday, 18 August, 2011

Following my monitoring, thousands of people in the world receive the personal loans from different banks. Thus, there’s good chances to find a student loan in every country.

Winner - Education Blog

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