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-- the Labyrinth December 1993 --

Changing Paradigms... Information Technology and Learning

Cynthia Leshin, MCLI
As the new millennium approaches and the information age unfolds, we are left discussing and debating new directions for education. We know that our lives have been changed forever by such factors as global economics; break-up of the Eastern European bloc countries; nationalism; cultural diversity; violence, natural disasters; health care reform; loss of jobs; CNN; Nitendo; MTV; and technology. How do these social, economic, and technological changes impact our educational system? Today the word "paradigm" has become the "in" word to use. It has been used in many different contexts, but always refers to a change in the way one views an issue. Paradigm shift seems an appropriate term when discussing a new educational order, changes in the way we teach, and the use of technology. Discussion and debate on this new educational order must consider the impact of these social, economic, and technological changes on the way we prepare our young people for 21st century. Some educators have embraced these changes and have begun a shift in the "traditional education" paradigm. Many faculty have moved forward developing exciting new learning environments where the teacher becomes a facilitator, guiding and directing the learning process rather than the sole provider of information. Students are asked to work together collaboratively sharing their information, helping each other to learn, and being responsible as a team for the successful completion of a class project. Students learn to think and value different solutions to problems; how to communicate and work on teams. They learn that their input and creativity are valued and that learning can be fun. As educators preparing for the 21st century, we should consider how changes are influencing our institutions of higher education and ultimately our classrooms. This issue of the Labryinth features two innovative teachers at MCCCD who have shifted their teaching and learning paradigm using technology as a tool to motivate, inspire, and help students experience the "joy of learning."
Maricopa Center for Learning & Instruction (MCLI)
The Internet Connection at MCLI is Alan Levine --}
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