Learners have changed; Teaching has changed; Expectations have changed. How to best support modern learners is the challenge of all educators at all grade levels. The students of today are sophisticated users of technology, they are multitasking constantly and can sometimes be more comfortable with the technology than they are interacting with teachers and peers in the real world. Marc Prensky described them as “Digital Natives” over 10 years ago implying that they are efficient users of technology. This is not always the case. While they are exposed to various technologies and can successfully use them outside the classroom their use of these same tools as learning support tools can be lacking. Digital natives have different learning styles and different concerns than previous students. Educators need to keep up with this changing landscape and need to learn, develop and innovate new ways to support todays’ learners. Supporting today’s learners now requires more than just educating them in a specific content area but also includes supporting them in the use of technology tools in an education setting. Supporting educators through areas of primary training such as teacher preparation programs and degree programs are one way to accomplish this but also the many credible teacher training programs that provide experience, peer support or certifications are also excellent tools. Through this chapter we will take a close look at pedagogy, learning styles, support tools, and the skills needed to be a modern educator.
Part of the book: Teacher Education in the 21st Century