Archive for September, 2011

Sep 26 2011

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Free Information…Come and get your Free Information…

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As an educational leader taking my masters, I often hear and read about “21st century learning”.  Prior to beginning my formal studies, I rarely heard of this futuristic philosophy of teaching.  I have always taken advantage of technology in my classroom and, at first, believed that I was on the cutting edge because of the TI-82 calculators and data projector that I used with my students.  However, I am now understanding that 21st century learning amongst the 21st century learners is more than just using 21st century devices.

This video made me realize a few things.  First, educators must stop requiring and rewarding the regurgitation of information.  Memorizing facts that can be accessed on an iPod is simply a waste of time.  Our students must be skilled in finding relevant information and patient enough to assess the source.  Creativity, critical thinking and problem solving are the skills that need to be encouraged in our classrooms on a regular basis.  Pink (2005) describes how the right-brained individuals will begin to dominate the economic world as we switch into the conceptual age from the information age.  It is important for educators to realize that the skills necessary in the 21st century workplace are much different than only ten years ago.

The next thing that I now realize is that I am a 21st century learner.  This is the first time I have ever used a blog to express my personal learning journey for the intent of feedback from people I have never met in a face-to-face environment.  I leaned about the evolution of “information” from a 20-something college drop-out on YouTube.  I am learning in an environment that is self-driven and does not involve a lecture.  Recently, I actually read a blog post about how a teacher used Angry Birds to teach physics.  These are crazy and exciting times to be a life-long learner!

Although these are exciting times, I do find challenges in the 21st learning philosophy as an educational leader.  I find it very difficult to get experienced teachers away from the fact and recall types of assessments.  Although I am not an ELA guy, I know that there is more to Romeo and Juliet than T/F questions and fill in the blanks.  I sometimes wonder if it is possible to transform teachers that are so engrained with the “information equals power” educational experience.

 

 

Reference:

Pink, D. (2005). A Whole New Mind. New York, NY: Riverhead Books.

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