Concluding Assignment

What do we mean by the 21st century classroom?

The 21st century classroom not only implies the inclusion of technology into existing curriculum, but also an entirely new generation of students learning in ways that were not possible in previous generations. Teachers of 21st century classrooms must adapt to new methods of teaching and communication; this can involves many techniques and methods such as holding classes online, allowing for more peer interaction between students through digital mediums, and providing various other opportunities through means of technology.

How do we apply technology tools in ways so that we can more easily achieve meaningful teaching and learning in the 21st century?

We as teachers can apply technology to classrooms to create a more meaningful learning experience for students by being able to constantly adapt as technology evolves and changes over time. New technologies are being created on an astoundingly regular basis, and these technologies are constantly changing the lives of students and educators alike. By allowing these elements into the classroom, the learning environment more closely resembles the “real world” the students will be returning to outside of the classroom, giving students a more relatable and genuine experience. Additionally, by applying the SAMR framework to lesson plans, teachers can incorporate technology in more meaningful ways than simply using it as an improved version of an existing classroom practice. Students are able to gain an infinite amount of learning from technology in the 21st century if the technology is used and introduced by teachers in an appropriate, revolutionary manner.

Advertisements

Google Inquiry #3 Reflection

Describe:

The group met and discussed the most recent reading for the class. We all took turns sharing opinions and views on the content, specifically on how student voice plays a role in creating meaningful change within education. We discussed how we might in the future use this information in our own classrooms to ensure that we’re actively working against a problematic system, rather than contributing to it.

Interpret:

I was personally glad that my peers and I had similar feelings regarding the need for student voice and permanent change in the education system. The discussion felt very similar to a lot of the material that was covered in my previous Education 160 class with Dr. Mayer; the class primarily focused on ways to promote student voice in the classroom and ways of revolutionizing the field of education. This could mean that this is a growing trend among new/up-and-coming teachers, which would ultimately result in a vastly different education system long-term. If teachers seek to create change in classrooms, that change will happen. Overall, the discussion was very productive and I’m glad to see that my classmates and I are on the same page when it comes to our opinions of the content of our readings.

Plan:

My recommendations based on this meeting are that more teachers need to seek meaningful ways of creating change in the classroom. This can be done through very simple, small changes to even the physical structure of the classroom, such as seating arrangements. Additionally, teachers need to work on developing ways of encouraging student voices, even those of shy, “softspoken” students, and making sure that the opinions of students are treated as equal and valid.

Education in the World Today

The articles I read for this post can be found here, here, and here.

Prior to reading these articles, I thought that 21st century education may become too impersonal to be effective. Students would be primarily self-reliant, which is a positive of more modern education, but in the process would become emotionally distant from the material and their classmates. The social element of school is just as important as the academic, especially in a day and age where social interaction is rapidly evolving. Additionally, I thought 21st century education would often be neglectful of the humanities in favor of STEM subjects. In such a digitized world, I was concerned that English and the arts would be ignored, when they are essential to students’ development both as individuals and as learners.

Now, I think that 21st century education is a helpful tool in promoting the independence of students, so long as technology is used in conjunction with face-to-face classroom experience. By combining more traditional methods with more modern ways of teaching, students will receive a rich, unique experience within the classroom that will help them to develop both socially and academically. I was also surprised how many resources were available to address the humanities through technology, such as creating a blog or a digital portfolio. It’s encouraging as a future English teacher to know that the humanities are still being regarded as an important field of study, in an age where STEM fields are becoming increasingly popular.

Questions I still have:

  • How can we make sure the power balance between students and teachers is maintained within these new classroom styles? Is that important?
  • What other ways can the humanities and technology be combined to create a unique experience for students?
  • Will the incorporation of technology be enough to keep students interested in subjects that they may have very little personal investment in? If not, what can we as teachers do?

Resource Reflection

The two resources I used for this reflection can be found here and here. The first focuses on American students in the global education environment, and the second focuses on education of ELL (English Language Learning) students.

Connect:

These resources both connect to my prior knowledge of education on the basis of what currently goes on within American schools. Many students are educated on the basis of standardized testing and how to perform well on standardized tests, rather than on the creativity and ingenuity needed in today’s world. Additionally, ELL students are put into uncomfortable situations where they are expected to know more English in the classroom than they have already learned, and as a result, fall behind.

Extend:

The readings extended my knowledge and consideration of this subject by introducing the global element. Students today live in a more globalized society, meaning they will not only need to know how to live in their own world as they grow up, but within an increasingly complex and connected society. This includes skills such as critical problem solving, and potentially more inclusion of foreign languages in the classroom, as opposed to forcing non-native English speakers into uncomfortable environments.

Challenge:

How do we, as teachers, adjust the way we teach in the classroom to prepare students for this new, globalized society we live in? How can schools do better at including a variety of learners and providing everyone with the skills they will need in the future?