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Testing again. Over and out
Yes I agree that schools do need to change to the needs of today's society... but much of the redundant teaching is in fact needed because it has been proven for years that it works. Yes there are other avenues of teaching that should be explored using technology but books and pencils should never be thrown completely out and replaced.
"Tell your teacher that if you need to know anything besides the Amazon, you can look it up on Google." This quote from the article basically sums up my life since getting internet access... I can't imagine not being able to run to the computer when cooking to calculate how many cups of chocolate chips are in an ounce for making brownies... Or to consult google maps for an areal view of UNO's campus to figure out where the heck I should park... Or basically anything else I need to know. We consider the fact that we can get any information we want at anytime a new fundamental right. So should our students. When my kids ask a question I don't know the answer to, I tell them to google it. I let them use my computer (with safe search on, of course) to google an answer. They have to scan through the results to find one that they think fits their question, and then report it to the class. These are elementary students! I liked that this article pointed out that we don't need to memorize things any more, because we can find them when we need them. But we should be teaching students how to find the answers efficiently. And we should doing what we are supposed to be doing in the first place, and teaching kids how to learn from what they find.
I agree with Staci. We need to teach our students how to find the answers efficently. We know that we need to incorporate more technology into our teaching but how do we do that when the districts for which we work cannot afford new technology due to budget cuts?
I really liked the description of the International Baccalaureate Programs that make students see history, like the American Revolution, from French, British, and American sources. This is a really terrific idea. Having spent the last 7 years in the Middle East, it would be great if my kids would learn about the Crusades from both Western and Eastern sources. How about the Cold War and Space race from both Russian and American sources. This is a true study of history that could be made possible by the Internet. Many teachers in America cannot read Russian or Arabic textbooks, so translations available online are affordable and accessible. Another terrific use for technology is the study of a foreign language using computers and podcasts. Every foreign language book and language program I have seen at bookstores are quite expensive and podcasts in many languages are available thru Itunes for free. Also, using the computer one can hear the accent of a native speaker. Why not utilize these resources to help students learn languages? Why not have language students broadcast their own podcast. Oral language is the hardest part of learning another language and this would offer more oral practice.
The "theory of knowledge" class sounded great. It is incredibly important to learn how to evaluate different sources of information. The internet does offer unlimited access to tons of information and misinformation. We need to give our children the power to discern.
I believe that our teaching strategies need to be altered to the use of more technology. There are so many awesome ways to include technology that makes it so much more meaningful and interactive for our students. We need to get away from testing and working on more creative interactive projects. As we've discussed in class do we really need to know the capitals of all 50 US states? Do you remember all of them? If I sat and thought about it, I'm sure I have forgotten some of them, but I can go to the internet and find it. I had to memorize all the counties of Nebraska in 7-8th grades...I have no idea why or what the purpose was but I don't remember them. It was a complete waste of time. There could have been a more interactive project that would have been more appealing.
The article made me reflect on the types of lessons I have been using in my classroom over the past several years. It seems that I may be doing things backwards. It’s not that the objectives are weak or the outcome is lacking. It has to do with the pathway the students are taking (or not taking) in the learning process. Presented with a “problem” or required outcome, the students can become the driving force for problem solving method(s), failures and successes, even establishing assessment tools. The teacher becomes a guide, resource, mentor, etc. as well as teacher. I believe the challenge I will be facing is coming up with meaningful, significant thematic lessons, and having the patience not turn back once things become a little uncomfortable.
**The article established some important aspects of today's classroom that need to be retrofitted. 1. Kids need to understand how to work in teams. Think of how many jobs are out there that involve total isolation.2. The courses that we teach need to have a global flavor. In our ever connected world we need to understand the culture, languages, customs, religions, and traditions of people around the world.3. We need to stop teaching information that can be accessed in much easier ways. Quit teaching the memorization of useless facts and start teaching from a thematic, hands on approach.4. Kids need to be taught how to use technology and use it in the proper way. Too much time for kids is spent playing meaningless games, watching T.V., etc. We need to engage our students in interactive learning using the technology that we have readily available.5. Teachers and students need to be aware of the resources that are available to them and incorporate them into the learning process. Do not ever be satisfied with your current knowledge of this either as it is the one area that is ever changing.6. Our kids need to be taught life skills in school, as this is often the only place that they get these lessons. The article states that future employers want graduates "to be punctual, responsible and to work well in teams."--If we could all try to incorporate small pieces of each of these 6 suggestions into our classrooms, I am confident that learning would increase and students would be engaged in meaningful learning.
Teaching students to thrive in a global community is definately a worthy goal for education! I do believe that many schools are aiming too low, somewhat handcuffed by NCLB standards! We need to teach our students critical thinking skills and to think outside the box if they are to succeed later in life! Exposure to core subjects and skills is important, but must be mixed with people sills, commnication skills, and exposure to other world cultures.bartoloschultzBrent A Schultz
I agree with the article about the concept of integrating more technology into school curriculum and teaching and learning for the 21st century. I would love to see it happen. My students love to work in groups and they especially love when they get to work on laptops, their creativity flows. My only question is how can we afford it? Some schools still work with projectors and transparencies.
I absolutely think that 21st century skills are the way of future education. However, I am concerned about the transition from our current methods of teaching, which involve spewing facts for student memorization and then assessment, to a new curriculum full of practical 21st century skills. How long will it take for all schools to adapt? How will impoverished schools find the money to update their technology? I think that part of teaching 21st century skills involves hiring educators who are capable of doing so and that necessitates higher salaries.
Even though this reading has great ideas and thoughts it still leaves me with a problem I see in schools that needs to be solved before starting the focus on technology, which is the class sizes. I sit on the Middle Level Leadership committee for OPS and at one meeting we watched a video of four interviews of dropouts in OPS. The students went through the credit recovery program and ended up graduating. The first thing I notice, because the primary focus of the meeting was on technology, is none of the students stated that what made them leave or stay in school dealt with technology. It all dealt with class size and connections to teachers. I, deciding to state a fact, pointed out that none of the students cited technology and stated something to the idea of needing smaller class sizes.Though I do agree that technology is a noble cause, but what is the use of a mobile laptop cart with 25 laptops, when I have 33 students in my class? It goes back to what has been said above, where do we find the money for the technology? The only way is through taxes and with the neocon tax code of the state of Nebraska on the basis of sales tax as opposed to sales tax, that is not going to happen any time soon.
I also agree that 21st century skills are necessary for our students. I liked the four goals that are being set for students ("Know more about the world" "think outside the box" "Become smarter about new sources of information" "Develop good people skills"). I think that these are all vital goals for people to have, and yet I would like to think that these are goals that are already being implemented within classrooms. These goals may not be written on my classroom wall or displayed on my school mandated standards, but I would like to think that these are inherent lessons that my student will learn through interactions with their peers and with me. I will admit, however, that I fear that many students are not meeting the 3rd goal. I feel that a lot of students don't know how to interpret the information they receive via the Internet. Sometimes I worry that everything they see they assume to be true. This is an area that I hope will improve in the future. With a 21st century model it is very possible to see a necessary and positive change within our students.
Westside has an unusual advantage in the fact that all the students at the high school have laptops as well as the 8th graders at the middle school. It's easy to wonder where schools are going to find the money for computers, even if it's just a class set. The truth is that even with computers for every student at the high school, not all teachers used this resource very often. This seems to me, and it was brought up in the article, that there is still an attitude that many teachers still think the "kill and drill" methods of teaching is a crucial method to help students learn. The World Language Department at the high school worked together every week to incorporate computer activities into lessons. This has made learning another language fun and motivation for students. The article mentions the need for students to work together. My Spanish 2 students were able to produce an iMovie over a skit that they wrote regarding a book that we read. This method helps students work together, use technology, and produce and assessment of what they know that isn't a test. From my background and knowledge I have learned two main things that is a summary of what I wrote above, 1) Students should have at least some access to technology provided by the schools, and 2) Teachers need to believe in the importance of technology and then incorporate the technology available for student use to the best of their ability when the opportunity is present.
It is really tough times right now. Schools are feeling the economic crunch and are forced to make budget cuts. Then on top of that, they are held to this NCLB fire forcing a lot of schools to teach to the test so that they can get the "results" they are supposed too. Then the icing on the cake is during all of this schools and teachers are getting left behind with Technology. I think schools are only as good as their weakest teacher and I praise all of us for wanting to further our education and want to keep up with the changing times. I agree with a lot of the chatter about it is hard to get away from the "normal" teaching or the easy way. It is a challenge to look change directly in the face and embrace it. Derek Strohman
There are not many points made in the article that I don't agree with. However, nowhere in the article does the author address the cost issue. The cost of completely retooling education in America would be quite high. Teachers would need a different type of training. College and Universities would need to alter their programs to ensure that they are educating teachers who are capable of teaching 21st century skills. New curriculum would have to be written. A new approach to textbook writing would have to be adopted. And, alot of money would have to be spent lobbying lawmakers, school administrators, superintendents ect. to convince them that these changes were neccessary.Adoption of many of the ideas suggested in the article would be beneficial for students. However, countless other changes and reforms would be necessary to make the U.S. a leader in education. For example, many countries require there students to attend year-round school.
This article made so many good points including the need for information literacy, collaboration skills, authentic experiences, and a forward thinking mentality among educators. While I agree that there are many road block to equipping every school, teacher, and student with the tools necessary to create 21st century learners, I am optimistic that it can be done. If we are going to ask our students to "think outside the box", "be critical thinkers and problem solvers", and "collaborate with others", we as educators need to stop saying "We can't..." and model these skills. Why do we need to equip every school with technology that will never be as up-to-date as what is used in the field? Collaborating with community partners, local business, and industry leaders will engage students in authentic experiences with experts in the field and better technology than any school could hope for. There are so many organization and businesses that want to help our students today as it will pay off for them in the future. Why can't technology be an avenue to teach the content required for standardized tests? Repeating facts over and over may help our students pass a test, but it means that we aren't really doing the job of educating our students. By guiding our students through the content and teaching them how to critically analyze all of the information that they have access to, we are teaching them how to learn, not just what to learn.
This article says that students need a certain bank of knowledge as well as the people and communication skills to work in groups, to be globally aware , able to speak at least one other language than English, discern the validity of information, and to think creatively. What does the knowledge bank need to be in order to effectively use 21st Century skills? Students should be taught how to use technology to find information, create projects, and practice skills. Using technology is highly motivating and makes many projects easier but it is just a tool that a student can learn how to use. It does not think or communicate for the student.
I agree with the article, skills that students need these days are different. I also think that we as educators need to continue to teach students to do more than look things up on Google or Amazon. Memorizing facts is not necessary, I agree and some of the things we learn in school may only be used in a game of Jeopardy. If students learn or can remember things they learned in school they won't have to rely on Google to find the answer. And if they retain things they learned in school they will become more efficient. And isn't that what we want in society today? Something I think we will have to start teaching in the future is how to socialize. With all the types of technology today most people communicate as quickly as possible, by texting, twitering, etc. talking on the phone has become to slow for some people. Having all of these are great but we need a different outlook of communication skill because no nonverbal skills are being used. And nonverbal skills play a large role in communicating.
I agree that technology is definately the direction our schools need to head towards with new ideas and teaching techniques. Our problem is affordability. I think we waste too much time with testing and not enough time on what is new and changing. Students are getting more and more bored with paper to pencil teaching.
I would have to agree with the article. We now live in a world that is fast pace, and aimimg in the direction of technology. The curriculum taught in the schools should be reflective of that. The old fashioned pencil and paper method of learning should be done away with. Our students need to experience interactive, hands on learning experiences, ones that they will benefit from later in life. As teachers, we need to educate our students, and make them more competitive with students around the world. I agree with idea of making kids global citizens because being able to communicate in another language is neccessary. Technology, people skills, language fluency, and overall knowledge about the new era will all play a role in the success of the students.
My mom retired about 10 years ago after 40 years as an educator. She said that one of the most discouraging things about education was that she could teach the same way she had her first year, and still be considered an excellent teacher today. Teachnology is part of the change we need to see. The other part is lots more research in educational psychology. How do we learn? What can make learning more efficient? Then, how can we apply tools like technology to that research?Also, I've been teaching computers, in a computer lab for 12 years. I search the Internet routinely and keep in touch with other educators. Why haven't I heard of resources like curriki.org? There needs to be a well-organized and respected database of curriculum collections. US Department of Ed, maybe? And for once, I'd like to see computer class topics included!
So much information is out there. How do we teach our students to manage it, interpret it, and act on it? We need to teach our students how to collaborate, solve problems, and use critical thinking skills. We also need to take time to teach students to use good digital citizenship.