Sep 26 2011
As an educational leader taking my masters, I often hear and read about “21st century learning”. Â Prior to beginning my formal studies, I rarely heard of this futuristic philosophy of teaching. Â 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. Â 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. Â First, educators must stop requiring and rewarding the regurgitation of information. Â Memorizing facts that can be accessed on an iPod is simply a waste of time. Â Our students must be skilled in finding relevant information and patient enough to assess the source. Â Creativity, critical thinking and problem solving are the skills that need to be encouraged in our classrooms on a regular basis. Â 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. Â 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. Â 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. Â I leaned about the evolution of “information” from a 20-something college drop-out on YouTube. Â I am learning in an environment that is self-driven and does not involve a lecture. Â Recently, I actually read a blog post about how a teacher used Angry Birds to teach physics. Â 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. Â I find it very difficult to get experienced teachers away from the fact and recall types of assessments. Â 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. Â I sometimes wonder if it is possible to transform teachers that are so engrained with the “information equals power” educational experience.
Pink, D. (2005). A Whole New Mind. New York, NY: Riverhead Books.
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