Monday, March 21, 2011

What Makes a 21st Century Learner?

So often we hear the phrase “21st Century Learner,” but what does that actually mean? This exact question was asked of me by one of my professors awhile back and I admit, it caught me off guard. Not only was I put on the spot, but I too pondered the same question for quite some time. The only truthful way I knew to go about answering this question was to draw on my own experience and intuition. I sat and pictured my students in my classroom and visualized what I wanted to see them doing...

- Communicating

- Collaborating
- Problem Solving
- Evaluating
- Innovating

o be fair, I asked the same question in regards to teachers. ”What does a 21st century teacher look like?” If we are supposed to prepare students for the future, how does that change our role as teachers? Teaching literacy, no longer means teaching someone to read and write with paper and pencil. Today, literacy is digital literacy. We need to facilitate and inspire creativity amongst ourselves and our students! As 21st century teachers we need to continue to...

Design authentic and relevant lessons that engage students
- Model digital citizenship
- Communicate ideas effectively
- Collaborate using digital media/formats
- Be a life long learner!

Moving forward in 2011, we must prepare ourselves for what issues lie ahead as we strive to prepare our students for the 21st century. In order to create 21 century learners, teachers and administrators need support! Teachers need time to develop/redevelop their lessons to include the use of digital technologies. Teachers need to be comfortable with the technology they are using and not be afraid to update their methods. Teachers need strong leadership that values technology and understands how it can enhance the curriculum. Instead of pushing for high test scores, we need to teach students to think critically and decide whether or not a piece of information is credible. One must know how to identify a problem, think through solutions and explore new options if their solutions don't work. If students can do that then high test scores should follow because students can actually be problem solvers and informed decision makers.

Now is the time to not just think outside the box, but think through them, be a risk taker and be creative!

1 comment:

Susan Thyden said...

Yes- I agree that we as teachers need
to redesign our lessons around how our digital age students learn but support and proper training is so important.