So life is full of many choices, and now we have all have a very critical ones to make. Would you like to live in a virtual or real world? A bit oversimplified I agree, but we do now have choices that did not exist until technology came along and made it at all possible. The virtual world may be rapidly becoming the world where we spend much of our waking hours where we work and play online, communicating with increasing ease and access on a twenty-four hour basis. In a certain sense we can create our own realities in the choices we make. This was hardly an option that earlier generations had.
Technology can also be a tool that enhances the breadth and meaningfulness of our personal and professional lives. But access alone does not guarantee this. I think one of the “twenty-first century skills” that our students and all families must now learn is the prioritizing of our time so as to maximize our life experiences in both worlds. I am also concerned that many children’s realities are exclusively contained in the four walls, or stories, of their family homes. Ironically it may be the technology that confines them there physically when the World Wide Web can take them anywhere virtually.
Of course there is always the experience of attending school in a building with other students and teachers. This reality is also changing with many variations and permutations of how and where students can attend classes, from elementary school through higher education. Technology has again made this all possible. A flexibility that surely benefits and enables access for many more learners. While “old school” advocates may decry such alternatives in learning, this is a “twenty-first century” reality that may make the biggest difference of all.