The students of today will be the leaders of tomorrow. And, to best prepare them for the future, a new program will be needed to help young people safely and effectively navigate the social, information and communication technology that the future will be based around.
Rather than creating something new from scratch, this new program needs to be rooted in an already effective and existing program.
I call it Social & Cyber Studies.
Social Studies is uniquely equipped for this challenge as it already encompasses the concepts of historical context, critical thinking, evaluating sources, media, research and communication, economics, social and technological change, as well as government and citizenship. This marriage of history and technology will not only help students explore the roots of technology, Social Studies can also show tomorrow’s leaders how to navigate and utilize technology in the most social, economic, responsible, collaborative and effective manner.
Sure, Social Studies may not yet have the mechanical chops for this challenge. But, leaving technology in the hands of any other department (math, science or IT) may provide students with cold technical knowledge, but it will fail to provide them with any real context, respect or appreciation for these powerful tools.
I plan to meet with my colleagues and administrators in the new year to see what their thoughts on this are and see how we can best move forward.
I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas on this issue!