Friday, October 12, 2012

Handout Reflection

"We do not grow into creativity...we grow out of
 it-or rather, we are educated out of it."

This quote perfectly sums up the major error we have seen with education in the past and, along with technology, is the driving force behind why we have seen and will see a very different kind of learning taking place in the twenty first century.  As the 21st century knowledge-and-skills rainbow shows, learning in the twenty first century will be based around the core subjects, but they will be taught in a way that incorporates and emphasizes life and career skills, learning and innovation skills and information, and media and technology skills.  I couldn't agree more with this representation of what education should look like.  Some of the examples we have read about include an extreme opinion of what education should look like.  Those in favor of technology believe that students should use technology all the time, eventually, perhaps, even be taught by an online program.  Those opposed to the technology movement believe that the old way of educating worked and should stay.  We should continue to lecture, asses and move on they believe. Neither of these ways of teaching will work for our young learners.  I think that we need something in the middle, exactly what this rainbow proposes.  We need students to understand technology and the right and useful ways to use it, yet we also want to encourage creativity and innovation as well as skills for life and careers.  These three components are incredibly important but are nothing if not tied to the core subjects.  As teachers, we need to find a way to integrate the two, not chose between one or the other.

We must teach our students from a very young age how to learn.  By this I mean we need them to understand how to critically think about a problem,how to work with others, and also, how to learn creatively.  We should expect that our students will be able to apply concepts to world problems, act as scientists in the lab, act as detectives in Math class, act as authors in English class.  Not only will this provide students with the skills to be successful in careers later on but these are the kinds of skills required to be a life long learner.  These skills encourage finding interests and passions and this in turn will create learners for life.

Digital literacy is an issue that is not as easy to use as a teaching tool when most often the students know more about the technology than the teachers do.  For example, my co-teacher and I allowed the students to use iPads in class the other day.  One minute before the bell was going to ring an alarm on one of the iPads started to ring (it was set to the tone of a duck quacking).  My co-teacher and I had no idea how to make it stop.  We needed to have a student come up and help us.  I think the students feel as though we had lost control.  We cannot stop using technology because of this reason though.  Instead the teachers role in incorporating technology needs to be different.  The teacher needs to give students the tools and knowledge to appropriately access information on the internet.  As the story of King Wallace's World Wide Wall showed, there is a lot of inappropriate information on the web that can be easily accessed.  As teachers it is our responsibility to show students how to select primary as opposed to secondary sources, make sure the information is credible, reliable and accurate and how to make students understand future consequences of social media.

I believe that the lack of creativity and innovation and technology in education in the past is not going to cut it in the 21st century.  The rainbow model seems, to me, to be the perfect medium for teaching students in the 21st century.  Using the core subjects as a base and integrating technology, innovation and life skills is the perfect balance.As the team who created the SARS website for the ThinkQuest competition showed, the opportunities are truly endless when these three skills are put into practice.

1 comment:

  1. I like your undertaking of the importance of getting students to think like scientists and mathematicians, as well as historians.

    This 21st Century Skills movement is becoming a huge force, but there is lots to like about it.