As our school embarks on a mission to become more of a 21st Century school combined with the fact that we are now a Google Apps school I have gotten a number of questions about technology and our dependency on it. One answer I gave is that I am sure there were glitches with the printing press but they didn’t get rid of that and the same is true with technology. it is not perfect and there will be glitches but that doesn’t mean we should get rid of it.
In a different conversation I had it became clear to me that the person assumed that technology is the same as 21st Century learning.
That prompted in my mind the following response.
For example finding something on the Internet in not necessarily 21st century learning. Having students research something or come up with questions and use the Internet as a resource for their research or their inquiry is more 21st century learning.
Below you will find a chart ( I am sorry it didn’t copy well but I included the link for you as well) that shows the difference between a 20th Century classroom and a 21st century classroom. As you go through the list I don’t think you will see the word technology once.
Please don’t get me wrong working with Google docs,wiki’s and blogs is great but lets not confuse giving an assignment to find something on the Internet with being a 21st Century school.
The chart below gives you some good concrete examples as well as to what makes something a 21st century activity.
Which one describes your Classroom or School?
20th Century Classrooms
USA 1960’s typical classroom – teacher-centered, fragmented curriculum, students working in isolation, memorizing facts.
21st Century Classrooms
A San Francisco architectural firm establishes an alternative school providing internships for high school students. A perfect example of real-life, relevant, project-based 21st century education.
Focus: memorization of discrete facts Focus: what students Know, Can Do and Are Like after all the details are forgotten.
Lessons focus on the lower level of Bloom’s Taxonomy – knowledge, comprehension and application. Learning is designed on upper levels of Blooms’ – synthesis, analysis and evaluation (and include lower levels as curriculum is designed down from the top.)
Passive learning Active Learning
Learners work in isolation – classroom within 4 walls Learners work collaboratively with classmates and others around the world – the Global Classroom
Teacher-centered: teacher is center of attention and provider of information
Student-centered: teacher is facilitator/coach Little to no student freedom Great deal of student freedom
“Discipline problems – educators do not trust students and vice versa. No student motivation. No “discipline problems” – students and teaches have mutually respectful relationship as co-learners; students are highly motivated.
Fragmented curriculum Integrated and Interdisciplinary curriculum
Grades averaged Grades based on what was learned
Low expectations High expectations – “If it isn’t good it isn’t done.” We expect, and ensure, that all students succeed in learning at high levels. Some may go higher – we get out of their way to let them do that.
Teacher is judge. No one else sees student work. Self, Peer and Other assessments. Public audience, authentic assessments.
Curriculum/School is irrelevant and meaningless to the students. Curriculum is connected to students’ interests, experiences, talents and the real world.
Print is the primary vehicle of learning and assessment. Performances, projects and multiple forms of media are used for learning and assessment
Diversity in students is ignored. Curriculum and instruction address student diversity
Literacy is the 3 R’s – reading, writing and math Multiple literacies of the 21st century – aligned to living and working in a globalized new millennium.
Factory model, based upon the needs of employers for the Industrial Age of the 19th century. Scientific management. 21st century model Driven by the NCLB and standardized testing mania. Driven by exploration, creativity and 21st century skills