Also posted here on Huffington Post
This video by Bill Genereux greatly illustrates the potential risks of leaving digital literacy up to chance by allowing our children to explore technology within a walled-garden. “I’m not techy,” is frequently heard among clusters of adults whose primary responsibilities include supervising children/students. Do parents have a responsibility to learn their way around technology as it relates to what their children are required to do? Does it really matter? After all, our kids can do a lot of things we can’t.
Although this video is aimed at parents, it could just as easily target today’s teachers. Are we educating ourselves in such a way so that we can guide our students in the safe and effective use of technology? Or are we leaving it up to the kids to learn on their own while we maintain the status-quo in our classrooms?
Thanks to Martha Thornburgh for bringing this to my attention.
The term “21st Century student” or “21st Century Classroom” sure gets thrown around a lot. We’re so used to hearing and supporting our pedagogy with it, but have you ever stopped to think about what it really means? There are many qualities that make up a 21st Century student. In 1956, Benjamin Bloom headed a group of educational psychologists who developed a classification of levels of intellectual behavior important in learning.
The new taxonomy supports the idea that not all learning objectives and outcomes are, nor should be, have equal in value. Effective teachers frequently refer to this taxonomy to design their instruction to emphasize important learned capabilities (more useful for adults in the workforce) rather than, for example, to emphasize memorization of facts (which makes for easier testing).
With expectations of the future workforce and the proliferation of inexpensive and readily available technology, a new and revised taxonomy (2001) emerged. It plays down the consumer-emphasized, single-player-sport idea of “educational objectives” (in Bloom’s original title) and points to a more interactive idea of what an effective curriculum provides.
Notice that “remembering” although certainly a necessary component to learning, sits at the bottom of this pyramid to higher-level thought processes required for true learning to occur.
Even with today’s emphasis on testing, it’s more important than ever to push our students to achieve higher level thinking. What are some ways that can be done today?
So what does all of this mean for you, your classroom and your children? That’s what I’d like to hear from you.
I look forward to your comments.
For those of you who think I (Mrs. Kolbert) know everything about computers, I will now share my secret. I definitely do not!
Look at this cartoon and you’ll see exactly what I (and most people who you think of as very “techy”) are doing when trying to troubleshoot a computer issue. Follow these steps and you can be a local computer expert too!
In the last of our Expository essay series, Ryan shares his thoughts on why school would be much better if every student were given a laptop to use.
Imagine if each student got a free laptop in school and you are allowed to use it. It’s an outstanding idea because it has learning games that can give your teacher a break, it can help you understand technology and I can leave a comment on my classmates or teachers’ blog on our school’s website. I bet laptops will make school ten times better!
Let’s go to Brainpop or Learning Tools! With all these learning games online, we can learn anything we want or do anything our teacher assigns. All these games you can play and learn can also lead to terrific grades and magnificent report cards. You can not believe how fun learning can be when playing a learning game. Learning games online can also give your teacher a break while you learn. There are a variety of learning games you can play during school. For example, Brainpop has videos, activities, and games you can play. You just click Learning Tools and you will see it along with many other games as well. Learning games are extremely helpful when it comes to learning, you have to just wait and see.
Having a laptop can also help you learn about using technology. It can teach you to type, how to use a computer and a whole lot more. Soon I will be an expert at technology just like my teacher Mrs. Kolbert. She loves teaching us about technology when we ask her. When you get a new computer it usually comes with an instruction manual that tells you exactly what to do. Always read the directions given to you or something wrong will happen. The computer might also have some information about setting it up. Getting a laptop at school would be a great way to learn about technology.
Let’s Blog! Blogging is another reason why we should have a laptop at school. I get to comment on many of my teachers and classmates and they are amazing to read and comment every day. Guess what? I can make my own blog post too! I type what I want and put a picture on top. When my teacher edits and approves it, my blog is ready for people’s comments. I haven’t blogged yet, but know that my teacher is making it better, so there’s no time to lose. Now I know that blogging can be as easy as ABC, and I can blog about whatever I want to when we get a laptop for school.
Oh Yeah! Having a computer at school can be an astonishing experience. We can play learning games, learn about technology, and blog anytime we want to. Having a laptop computer at school will make me as happy as a pig in a mud puddle!