The world is rapidly evolving. Our economy is changing. We are preparing our students for jobs that do not yet exist. As educators, we need to find a way to stay relevant to our students and prepare them for a shifting world. Educational technology can play an important role in assisting us to figure this out, but it will never be the silver bullet that fixes it all.
Our students have also changed. This isn’t making an excuse for why our old techniques do not work as well as they used to, this is a reality. The use of educational technology in our classrooms can open up a world of opportunities for our students. No longer are they limited to the knowledge and experiences in our libraries and of our teachers. Using the internet and connecting with other sources of information can provide our students with the skills that they need.
With this connection, we must also begin to change the way that we are teaching our students. We have to find ways to connect to a new generation of learners who can find basic facts using good search terms. We have to appeal to their creative sides to have them build something. We need them to communicate their findings after completing research. We then need to challenge their findings to ensure that students have done the required critical thinking. Finally, we need to get the students to work with one another in meaningful ways. There are few jobs where an individual does not have to work with anyone else. We need to prep our students to be prepared for the world they are entering.
This is where the Lake Michigan Tech Conference wants to help. We are bringing together the amazing educators of the three host districts and many other great Michigan educators to share innovative strategies and how to integrate technology into the classroom. The goal of bringing this conference to Southwest Michigan, and Berrien County, in particular, is to begin to prepare our students for their future jobs. Please consider joining us at this conference to take the first step towards preparing out students for a modern economy.