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At the centre of this article there is truth, which is that our children need "new" skills and new ways of developing and using the "old" ones. However, I think there is room for them all, if the curriculum is formulated the right way. Inquiry-based learning, letting the kids ask a question and then search for the answer using a number of resources, is definitely the way to go. Personally I think there will ALWAYS be a place for being able to do maths the old fashioned way, so you understand how it works, but there is also a time to let the technology take you further, to increase that understanding. Room for both.
As I prepare a presentation on 21st Century Skills, I find myself dealing with having to first be clear on what they are NOT. Only because for many, the term "21st Century" is synonymous with technology. In this post, I won't get into the details of why it's not.
What I would like to share is my realization that terrible times lie ahead for bad teachers. Conversely, there has never been a more exiting time for a good educator than today and the near future!
In order to make a statement like that, I owe it to my readers to give my definition of each type of teacher.
Do not want to learn new things.
Have "the book" lead instruction and feel the need to always stick to it.
Are comfortable doing the same lessons (the same way) year after year.
Never step out of their comfort zone. Live in their own bubble and do not see the need to live outside of it.
Only teach facts and assess the ability to memorize those facts ("Any teacher that can be replaced by a computer, deserves to be." -David Thornburg).
Design tests to be easily gradeable.
Think that all progress in education are "fads."
Do not learn new things... oops, I already wrote that! It bears repeating because SOOOO much can be learned from other colleagues!
Care whether their students find the learning relative.
Are ALWAYS looking for new ways to engage their students.
Embrace quality professional development as often as they can.
Learn from and share with other educators.
Have gotten this far into this post and are nodding their heads ;-)
My hopes are that we QUICKLY get to the point where teachers who do not inspire and engage will be seen as employees who are simply not doing their jobs and be let go. Or, they may move to schools that don't "get it" (yet) and find a safe haven there for now. Either way, it's time for ALL teachers to pick a side. And yes, there's plenty of room on the "good side" for bad teachers to make the change. Here's hoping!
For a glimpse of the changing social media landscape for today’s teens, consider the Witt sisters of Champlin, Minn.: Courtney, 20, and Claire, 16. They have Facebook pages but only check them a few times a week.
The Facebook generation is fed up with Facebook. That's according to a report released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center, which surveyed 802 teens between the ages of 12 and 17 last September to produce a 107-page report on their online habits.
Interesting article which backs up my own experiences with teen daughter. She is using Tumblr and Instagram and while Facebook is still in the equation, there is less reliance on it for purely social stuff.
Take a moment and imagine a creative work environment. Don't worry about the kind of work going on. Just focus on the space. Close your eyes and picture it. What is that space like? What does it sound like? How are people interacting? Is there movement? Is there evidence of work in progress? Is it tidy, or busy-messy? Can you imagine working there?
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