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?