Monday, December 20, 2010

Key concept from the book: Digital Lifestyles

Digital Lifestyles was a part of the book that I really reflected upon. I never really thought about how much technology has changed since I was young. I was born in 1978 and the book talked about changes that have happened with technology since 1975. It was amzing to see the list of devices that I use daily that have not been around any longer than I have been! Interesting to really think about. It also makes me think about how much things will change during the lifetime of my second grade students. Ten years ago my cell phone made phone calls. I liked it. I could call people from my car! Fast forward two years and I probably sent my first text message. I had to hit the number three or four times to choose the letter I wanted to use, but again I liked it! Now my phone sends and receives emails, makes calls, texts from a keyboard that is a touch screen, surfs the net, takes videos, takes pictures, runs facebook, and the list never stops. It really makes me wonder how our students will be motivated and learn five years from now. I never thought I'd own a device that would have all of the capabilities that my cell phone does.

Yet, the book brought up another very intersting point. The fact that parents almost require that we teach the same way that they were taught. They are successful, therefore, they want their students to learn the same way they did. We as educators are fighting a never ending battle. Students who are on a completely different wavelength with different abilities and motivations, and parents, community members, and collegues that want to have things the same way they have always been. The book provides interesting alternatives to how we can remedy this and all I can say is that in some ways I wish education would change as much as my cell phone does from year to year. Perhaps all in good time we will see things shift in education. The 21st Century Balance provided the most intersting analysis of how things need to be balanced in order for high quality learning to occur.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Final Relection

Reflective Post for 21st Century Skills by Bernie Trilling and Charles Fadel

This was an excellent book selection for me. I am still processing the new tools and the accessibility for there use in the classroom. There are so many stakeholders in the learning process and the expected final product. Students, teachers, and parents need to work together in providing the workforce and society a productive citizen.
What is the classroom of the future going to be like? It is hard for me to comprehend how fast the digital age is moving forward. It was not too many years ago the television was making its way into classrooms. How many students even know what microfiche is or heard of the PET Commodore computer? Where is the digital age going to?
I was hoping by reading the book I would come away with a better understanding on what all the accolades for the use of these tools in the classroom are? I came away with a better knowledge of the different tools, how to use them, the impact on the classroom, and the fact students are leading the charge for change. The students are the most wired and digital savvy members of our society. The authors presented ideas to help reshape the educational landscape and ways to help build the foundation for future classrooms.
The P21 (The Partnership for 21st Century Skills) is leading the way to build into the future and is a collaborate effort of many organizations with same goals. Their guidance will help transform the new classroom and make it available for all students. I still see a gap in students and schools which are able to afford the new technology and the students and school not able to tap into the digital age. The gap is becoming smaller, but hopefully P21 will help bridge the gap quicker.
It was an easy read and I will pick it up now and then to reread parts of it as continue to learn more about the 21st Century skills. I was and probably still a skeptic on some of the uses of these tools in the classroom, but I am willing to change if their use will be a benefit for our students. I am slowly becoming to grips with the “digital age”.