Educating has never been easy, in a world that changes faster and faster it becomes even more complex. Understanding the social context in which the educational action is grafted becomes essential for building an effective and effective didactic action. Often teachers are asked to use new technologies and new teaching methods without providing them with the right skills. They get lost in projects focused for example on coding and digital storytelling that turn into short impromptu brackets without any kind of continuity.
Current education systems were not designed to cope with the challenges we now face. They were developed to meet the needs of an earlier era. It is not enough to reform them: they need to be transformed.
In this crisis of identity of the educational institution, the complexity and rapid transformation of our society certainly does not help. At this point, it becomes important to understand the social context that characterizes the digital age. We have gone from a linear society based on reading and writing, that of the Gutenberg revolution, to a media society based on the multitasking concept, constantly fragmented by the distractions of the screens. Starting from this assumption, the difficulties that teachers must face with their pupils appear evident, not a simple comparison between different generations, but a comparison between different ways of reasoning and thinking that undermines the various educational models inherited so far. Today’s pupils are the kids of generation Z, following the Millennials and known as the generation of digital natives, of the pocket culture, always connected. Onlife, is the neologism to define the new condition of the media society. No longer distinct between online and offline, but a hybrid reality in which real and virtual merge and where the boundary between public and private space becomes increasingly blurred. The peculiarity of modern education is that for the first time the teacher is no longer the absolute holder of the knowledge to be transmitted. When it comes to using new technologies, it often happens that pupils are more capable than their teachers. This inverse asynchrony in the didactic relationship leads to questioning the need for teachers of a real digital literacy campaign. It represents the necessary basis for the construction of new teaching actions and the effective application of new methodologies. Understanding how communication takes place in the digital sphere and what its characteristics are, understanding the function of digital identity and how it is built are just some of the aspects necessary for teachers to educate their students and prevent any forms of deviance in the digital world such as cyberbullying and hate speech. Sharing the media world with the students in a conscious way allows a correct enhancement of the peer group, this also involves the creation of a healthier classroom context, based on collaboration and not on competition, where students support each other in a supportive environment that leads, as a positive consequence, to a lowering of the internal conflict within the group.
To do all this it is necessary that teachers acquire the basic skills to move in the digital world. The teacher’s professionalism is related to collaborative learning, didactic planning, and the ability to network. Through the idea of teachers as “designers of learning environments”, the innovation of teaching practices can be considered as a typical aspect of the teaching profession to solve daily challenges in a constantly changing context. Teachers as experts in the art and science of learning, who effectively adopt and combine various teaching approaches to achieve the defined learning objectives.