Sunday, November 28, 2010

Section IV 21st Century Learning and Teaching (Ch 6) & Powerful Learning Proven Practices, Researched Results (Ch 7)

The learning power of the P's and Q's is emphasized in chapter six. Other areas of interest of this chapter are:
1. Table 6.1, page 93, shows the breakdown of Scientific Versus Engineering Methods
2. Questions are what motivate scientists and engineers are motivated by challenging problems.
3. Inquiry-based learning versus design-based learning

A statement in chapter seven made me read the number referenced again. Page 108 "These summary conclusions are based on a thorough review of the fifty-year research base on inquiry, design and collaborative approach to learning by ...Linda Darling-Hammond and her colleagues..." Fifty-years of research on inquiry design and collaborative approach to learning that proves it works--and we are still having problems implementing and sustaining collaborative inquiry and design learning. Hopefully the 21st Century teacher's and student's skill sets can help overcome the obstacles to progress.

Section V

This section dealt with ways we need to retool our education system. I do believe almost everyone feels we need to make changes in the way we teach and to teach to what our students are currently learning with. Early on in the unit the authors stated we need to learn from each other's experiences, both (positive and negative) as new approaches and processes are being tried. Students, parents, teachers,administrators, government officials,community members need to be focused on the same 21st century skills. These groups of people need to be led by school leaders with a vision toward the future. There were several areas address to help schools get to the 21st learning environment.

There was a quote in the assessment topic of the section. "We need better summative tests and formative evaluations that measure a combination of content knowledge, basic skills, higher-order thinking skills, deeper comprehension and understanding,applied knowledge, and 21st century skills performance". I thought to myself it would an ideal assessment process if and when it will be accomplished. There is a need for better tests to measure student skills in what will make them successful in the future.

The section went on to cover curriculum and instruction, staff development,learning environments,technology infrastructure,and learning communities and leadership. I felt the authors did an excellent job in laying out what needs to be done to move forward with 21st century skills.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I chose this picture because it represents how the use of technology is changing and has changed. This represents resources that can be used to teach 21st Century Skills. Many of these titles I do not know anything about, but I would guess many of my students could teach me about them.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Blabber Kid

Section III: Digital Literacy Skills & Career and Life Skills

Wow! This section is JAM PACKED with information!

Digital Literacy Skills

This chapter really reminded me of the importance of teaching students proper technology use. The focus as upon informational literacy, media literacy, and information and communication technologies. The story of the king and the kingdom of Learnalot reminded me of what could happen with students when left to their own devices in regards to technology tools. The quote that was the most meaningful to me was, "Assessing the risks of using personal images and commercial music on social networking Web sites such as Facebook or YouTube often requires critical thinking, sound judgement, and an understanding of potential future consequences-considerations where students can certainly benefit from some firm adult guidance." Students know how to use these technology tools, in many cases better than parents and teachers do. What they don't know is how to use them educationally, as well as appropriately.

Career and Life Skills

"The ability to work effectively and creatively with team members and classmates regardless of differences in culture and style is an essential 21st century life skill." This quote really sums up the entire chapter. Sprinkle in flexibility, adaptability, initiative, self-direction, social and cross-cultural integration, productivity, accountability, leadership, and responsibility and we have the full package of what the work force is looking for. The area that really struck me as the most difficult for kids is flexibility and adaptability. In our society today kinds really have a "my way or the highway" attitude and this chapter really pushes us the importance of teaching students how to be able to incorporate feedback, deal with praise and criticism, as well as negotiate. Another important piece of 21st Century Skills is the need to be self-directed learners. So much of the chapter really feels like common sense, but at the same time I am not sure that we always give enough time to teach these areas well.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Section II-Learning Storm & Innovation Skills

Wow! This section contained a lot of information. It focused on the way that knowledge, learning, digital lifestyles and digital tools have changed the way we learn. The emphasis has shifted from individual learning of facts, which do not constitute thinking power to collaborative teams solving real-world problems.
The new technology that we have experienced in our lifetime is incredible, and to just think about what our future generations will experience in their lifetimes. One quote that stood out to me was, "These young people are the first generation in history to know more about the most powerful tools for change in our society-digital information and communications technologies-than their elders: their parents and teachers." The digital natives have come to expect and demand freedom to choose, customization, scrutiny, integrity, entertainment, collaboration, speed in communications and innovation in products. I liked the table on page 38 entitled "A New Balance." It brought into perspective what we need to accomplish. It is definitely a balancing act to incorporate the basics along with the skills our students need.

As an educator, my goal is to take one step at a time, because the task is somewhat overwhelming to me. I do believe that incorporating technology one project at a time can be done and that it will be more relevant and memorable for my students. In closing, I would like to include one more quote: "Learning for work and life in our times means helping as many children as possible learn to apply 21st century skills and a solid understanding of core subjects to the challenges of our times."