This post is a little out of the normal for me, but I read Katie Stansberry's post "Outfitting 21st Century Classrooms with 21st Century Teachers" on the ISTE Connects Blog a couple of days ago, and I have been thinking about it ever since I read it. Just because all kinds of 21st Century technology pieces of equipment are put in a classroom does not necessarily mean that will become a 21st Century Classroom. The teacher in a classroom plays a vital role in the type of environment that will be created in the classroom regardless of what new pieces of equipment are in there.
In my mind, a 21st Century Teacher is one who works to build critical and creative thinking skills, as well as encouraging collaboration and communication, in his or her students using whatever resources (technology or not) that are available to reach that goal. You could have a classroom full of technology, including an interactive white board, a document camera, a slate, a webcam, laptops, and all sorts of things, but if the teacher in that classroom is not willing to figure out ways to try to use those pieces of equipment to help students, then all that seems to be wasted. It’s not about how much technology you can get in the classroom, but how you incorporate technology into the the curriculum.
Katie Stansberry ends her post (mentioned above) by asking questions about what we think 21st Century classrooms and teachers look like. I think I will end the same way ...
- What do you think a "21st century educator looks like? How do they teach?
- Is technology necessary to give students a 21st century education?
- What role does the teacher play in the next generation classroom?"