While reading EdTech Digest, I came across an interesting page of videos that reflect on what it means to be a 21st Century learner. While I had seen most of the clips before, I had not yet seen the one above.
As you watch, think about:
- What skills and opportunities do kids need to participate effectively in modern day society?
- To lead happy, healthy and learning-filled lives?
- Now, how can you help?!
I was recently asked to put together a one page document titled, “Tips for Teachers that Want to Become Education Technology Leaders and Champions in their Schools”. I thought readers of Literacy is Priceless might enjoy reading the tips as well. Feel free to add your own tips in the comments section of this post!
1) Always keep learning!
Technology changes rapidly! Therefore it is important to stay on top of the latest news, trends and research. Here are a few recommended resources to start with:
- International Society for Technology in Education – articles, advocacy kits and conferences about education technology
- Edutopia – videos and articles about education best-practices
- eSchoolNews – K-20 technology news
- Mashable – Learn about the latest applications and trends in social media
- A mentor – Find someone that knows a lot about education technology. Meet and share ideas and feedback regularly.
2) Share your knowledge.
- Help other teachers in your building learn how to use and teach effectively with technology by hosting workshops, coaching and mentorship sessions.
- Keep a classroom blog. Make sure to tell other teachers and students about it!
- Post your technology-infused lesson plans on open education resource sites like Curriki and OER Commons. Or, on sites like BetterLesson and the Ras al Khaimah Teachers Network.
3) Don’t be afraid to experiment.
See a new technology that could be effective in your classroom?! Try it! Remember, it is okay if the students know how to use the technologies better than you do! As teachers, we learn so much from our students and they from us. By trying new things, practice and an open mind, we can learn and do many great things in the classroom, for and with our students.
4) Start an education technology passion project with your students!
5) Stay connected.
- Keep a teaching journal. Document what went well in your lessons and what you would like to improve in the future.
- Solicit feedback from your students! What do they enjoy doing in your class? What are their challenges? How can technology be used to address some of these challenges and to inspire enthusiasm towards learning?
- Create an education technology professional development plan for yourself. Do it! Have fun!
(Image CC by Brian Hathcock)
The Web is filled with fabulous teaching and learning content. How do you get students to use the Web to effectively ask questions, find information, evaluate information and create digital content?
Why not try a WebQuest?! “A WebQuest is an inquiry-oriented lesson format in which most or all the information that learners work with comes from the Web” (WebQuest.org).
WebQuests have been around for about 15 years, so in Web history they are tried and true! Over the course of last year, several educators across the Middle East asked me about WebQuests. So, I’ve prepared a WebQuest about WebQuests (for Teachers) to share with participants in an upcoming 21st Century Teaching course I am leading this fall. If you are curious about WebQuests or are about to lead a training on WebQuests, I welcome you to share it!
To exploring the Web with many students this fall!
If you are anything like me, summer is the time to kick back, relax, and explore all of the websites I’ve bookmarked throughout the year. So, when I came across Web 2.0 Cool Tools for Schools, I immediately grabbed a pot full of tea and started playing!
Web 2.0 Cool Tools for Schools is a wiki filled with hundreds of links and short descriptions of online tools for video editing and presenting, collaborating, building student creativity and problem-solving skills and more!
Some of my favorite featured tools include Prezi (a fabulous brainstorming and alternative presentation tool to PowerPoint), Animoto (a website that turns your favorite photos and music into a perfectly orchestrated masterpiece/slideshow), Make Beliefs Comix (a free tool that enables students to make their own comic strips), Teachers TV (a website filled with videos of model classrooms and videos about the things we all think about as teachers – integrating ICT, assessment, differentiated instruction, teaching to every student…).
Web 2.0 Cool Tools for Schools is going to keep me busy for a long time. What a wonderful reference!
Thanks Levna for organizing such a useful wiki!
(Image by supagroova. Available under CC license.)
Recently while leading a workshop on digital citizenship and safety in Ras al Khaimah, we did an exercise where teachers had to evaluate several websites to determine the trustworthiness and validity of the sites’ information. In particular we spent a long time comparing two websites (website 1 and website 2) on Martin Luther King and discussing why website 1 is a terrible source of information and why website 2 is more reliable (based on clues like content, images, references, URLs, webmasters, etc.).
After the workshop, one of the ICT teachers in the class shared with me some of the websites she asks younger students to evaluate as part of their unit on digital citizenship and safety. Ask your students to take a look at the video above and this website on the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus. What aspects of the video and website are giveaways that the information may not be true?!
P.S. Once your students are good at evaluating website validity and trustworthiness, try this unit on Digital Image Manipulation in the Mass Media. Your students will be amazed at the amount of digital editing that goes into creating advertisements like the one below.
I spent the weekend imagining I was twelve again. Or rather, I spent the weekend with 30 other teachers from across the Emirate of Ras al Khaimah pretending to be twelve again. The immediate goal – to feel what it is like to be 24 hours in the life of a Digital Native. The grander goal – to understand how students think and pass time in order to translate our lessons into the language that 21st Century learners speak.
Imagine: If twelve-year-olds ruled the world, what would “schools” be like today?
Having a hard time being back in middle school?! I mean it – braces, hormones, big dreams and all! Well, thanks to the MacArthur Foundation, understanding what it is like to be twelve through the brain of a 30, 40 or 50+ year old educator, just got a wee bit easier!
Watch the video above to learn what MacArthur grantees are doing to Re-Imagine Learning in the 21st Century. Then check out:
- Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out: Kids Living and Learning with New Media (Mimi Ito, et. al.) to see what teens really do online. Download book summary here.
- YouMedia – a 5,500-square- foot room on the first floor of the Harold Washington Library Center in downtown Chicago, buzzes with teens hanging out with friends, remixing their own rock videos, tapping into the library’s large collection of youth literature, and using the Internet to dive deeply into issues of interest. Learn more here.
- Quest to Learn – “a school based on Kid Culture” all about inquiry-based learning, game-like learning and new learning environments.
I don’t know about you, but being 12 seems pretty good now!
Founder, Bon Education
PS Thanks to international education consultant Kevin Simpson from Know.Do.Serve.Learn for sending me a link to the video above!
A little hope, a helping hand, education and an Internet connection can go a long way towards building individuals and communities. Watch and be inspired!
Thank you CDI!
Founder, Bon Education