Monday, January 26, 2009
Being a dinosaur is not so hard after all?
The 21st century skills guidelines have recently been released and teachers around here are a bit hesitant to even look at them, let alone implement them. One of the teachers in my school recently brought in an article that could make everyone feel better about the changes. Find that article here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/406/story/463086.html
Kay McSpadden has done a fine job of making the teachers feel more comfortable with the changes we are all facing in education. She mentions that she is a "dinosaur" and that her use of gadgets is lacking (although, after reading what she has tried, she's ahead of many). Upon reading the new skills a little more closely, she realizes that not all of the skills deal with gadgets, but are more real life skills that are needed in today's workforce.
So, if it is not about the gadgets, then why are schools spending so much money in technology? Because the gadgets help create that hands-on environment that kids today want so much to be a part of. Having capabilities to do podcasting and moviemaking for class projects helps students soar to the next level in creativity and collaborative skills. Students could very easily give their thoughts on a poem they've learned in English class by writing their thoughts on a piece of paper. But, to take their thoughts, record them in an audio clip similar to what they might hear on a talk show and sharing it will their friends, teachers and family? That's what makes a difference.