Jean C. Cotamora BSED General Science 4
Only a fool would ever deny the major differences of the teaching-learning styles and strategies of the previous and present generation. There are major differences even from the media used up to the outcome produced. The previous generation are more into content in every lesson while for now, there so much more in school than just learning but also developing necessarily values and significant skills to cope with the world. These major differences makes the gap – the “generation gap.” This gap impacts the teaching and learning process most especially if the teacher isn’t in conformity with new trend in education. Below are the defining differences that contributes to the generation gap.
Text versus Visuals – The previous generation were into written and tangible materials enriched with illustrations and photos while the generation now has broader and greater preference to visuals. The learners now are mostly visual learners so they understand concepts if visuals are used. There are “not so into” in reading but more on believing and understanding what they see. They tend to choose pictures over reading materials.
Linear versus Hyper-media – The previous generation learned in a sequential and linear manner no wonder learners before are more logical than today, they have become reflective thinkers and focused. Today, because of “hyper-media,” the learner now gets to access to information easily. It is notable that because of the learners’ random access to hyperlinked digital information, they are bored and distracted easily during classes.
Independent versus Social Learners
– The traditional way of learning is more on independent learning; the way of learning today encourages collaboration and cooperation among learners. The trend now is more social and that digital learning is better when it is done in groups. Learners can communicate in many ways, in many avenues.
Learning to Do versus Learning to Pass the Test – The past generation are taught by teachers because the teachers back then wanted the students to pass the test – they are basically after the score (although there is still learning, short-term learning and not on the effective learning (one that really lasts for a long time – true learning). Now, acquired skill/s is/are the determining factor/s of learning. There is much more emphasis on the process than on the outcome, although the outcome is also an important determinant of learning.
|Cramming to Pass the Test|
Delayed Rewards and Instant Gratification
– Rewarding learning in the past wasn’t immediate. Medals, certificates and diplomas and other objects of gratification are given at the end. Today, rewards are immediate – right after the endeavor, the reward is given say for example. It is only at the end of the school year that the learner can get the rewards and gratification of his/her efforts; however today, rewarding is immediate, just like after playing plants versus zombies, the learner gets to know how well he/she did the game.
Rote Memory versus Fun Learning – The traditional teachers obliged their students to memorize lessons and test memory (which was back then perceived as “knowledge”) through standard test. Memory back then was the measure of understanding. Today there is still an emphasis on the use of memory but learning has become fun because knowledge is not just based on memory or perhaps may no longer be on memory, but more into actions and practical applications which yields better learning and understanding because it is actual and because the learners remember things if he/she does it but because the learner gets to experience the actual thing. Learning is no longer mundane and cyclical but it has become “active.”
I can say that the way I learn now is way to better than the way I learn in high school. Back then concepts about chemical reactions were made known to me through books and lectures; at this degree, I get to understand better because I made it happen and I witness how it worked. I have evolved from being an auditory learner (solely) into a visual learner. I now understand things better. All thanks to technology, there is a better and faster way of learning. I have become a better learner. Moreover, I can also attest to the gap made by technology to the teaching and learning process. Some of my teachers don’t use the available materials for digital learning for the reason that they are expensive and they should only be used some times. Now, with my learning, I get to ask questions: was that the REAL reason why? : Or was it because my teachers back then didn’t have the zest to learn how to manipulate it: Did my teachers before fail to fill the generation gap? Hmmm?
Learning can be facilitated in many ways depending on the concept being taught. Traditional way of teaching and learning is not bad if it is just employed correctly. With the advent of digital education, the teaching and learning process have become better. However, the extent and effectivity of this digital education is also still dependent on the appropriateness of its application. The gap is not that big only if traditional teachers would just have the courage to blow to cloud of fear in front of them. They play important roles in bringing the students to the 21st century education – digital education. Students have become better in multitasking because of the avenue being opened by technology to them, to us. Hence, teachers must be the first ones to leap into this trend in education so that students will come after.
As a future teacher, I promise to bring to my students to the 21st century education. I must never be afraid of learning what is new. I must never be the cause of the generation gap. I must make my experiences learning curves so that I may avoid committing gap mistakes. It is important for me too to consider the learning preferences of my students (whether they prefer the text ones or visuals) but later lead them into employing better ways of learning with the application of digital approach to learning.
Howbeit, to be able to this all, it is important for me to learn and internalize first the principles of educational technology to do the right choice today and later generation.