Even better, we can encourage students to participate in the planning and design of ICT learning experiences, to choose what they want and need to learn. .
Who stands to gain the most? It's their future, we should let them have some input into where it's headed. We still need to guide them of course, but they need to be encouraged to develop the critical thinking skills they will need as part of their toolbelt for the future.
This article by Theresa Soares and Jon Phillips for EdTEch Digest, “Do you listen to your students?”, discusses this very issue:
"This new perspective [of the students'], when coupled with students’ deep familiarity and passion for technology could help administrators make better technology decisions and lead to better outcomes for students, faculty and administrators alike. " - Soares & Phillips.
The authors add to the already deep discussion of future jobs that have not yet been invented. They believe that while students are young enough to still have vivid imaginations, we should encourage them to think outside the box, and help discover new ways to use technology, instead of old methods or old modes which don't stand up to the changes over time.
"It is also important to give students the technical tools to investigate and encourage them to explore beyond the curriculum. The internet provides endless opportunities for students to explore new interests and pursue independent investigations and self-directed learning." - Soares & Phillips.
Once again this is confirmation that we must transform ICTs from toys into tools, in order to teach children how to use them effectively.
We need to teach them the skills, so they can explore and discover new knowledge for themselves – this is what self-directed learning is all about. This is the most important skills they need – to learn how to learn.
They need skills, but then they need opportunities to put those skills to work. They need to have some freedom to make choices for themselves, and they will pleasantly surprise us with what they come up with.