Tuesday, April 19, 2011

21st Century Classroom?

So I read an article online today - found in my twitterstream about asking what it take to be a 21st century learner. There was a video created by Archbishop Ryan High School in Pennsylvania that was well done - but as an educator striving to provide best uses of technology for my students, I was underwhelmed. In sharing the video with my middle school students, they liked it because in many of their classes, they are using a number of the tools mentioned, some of which I would classify as Web 2.0 and others, not so much. They are using the tools, because they are assigned...when I asked how many of them were using Google Docs, online calendars, online math text books, Glogster, online discussion tools, wikis or blogs, without teacher prompting, the answer was "not really..." We will have 21st Century Classrooms when we have one to one technology AND when students are using these tools to organize, learn and socialize as a matter of course. I was surprised that when I started asking questions, none of my students said we should include facebook or gaming as a part of school. They see the divide between home and school perhaps even more that their teachers and parents do. As schools become further and further removed from the lived experiences of the children they serve, when do they cease to be relevant in our society? My fear is that for some of our students it may have already occurred.

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