What it means to teach, and to be a teacher, has evolved since high technology entered the world of education.
Learning today is markedly different than it was in the pre-Internet days of, say, 1987. Students now have at their fingertips a digital Library of Alexandria, whether they turn to Khan Academy or MOOCs or to Google Books. The tools available, from mobile apps to online courses, help make learning easier.
There’s also been a shift in the classroom. Instructors have embraced experiential learning. Others promote group learning and project work. Some have abandoned lectures.
Students have more options, more ways to learn. Fewer find themselves in traditional classrooms.
Yet some aspects of teaching haven’t been altered. The art of teaching, of making connections with students, of spurring their intellectual development, of helping them engage, remains vital. And irreplaceable.
Our best educators recognize that they’re not only imparting knowledge, but also preparing students for a complex, challenging, and exciting future. The art of teaching in 2017 involves inspiring curiosity, supporting critical thinking, and encouraging a love of learning.
Jefferson Flanders is president of MindEdge Learning. He has taught at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University, at Babson College, and at Boston University.
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