21st Century Teaching

article.  This weeks readings have focussed on how learning is different for students through the “new” connected age.  Throughout the articles and videos, we have learned how students can obtain knowledge and learn through technology instead of only from one single teacher in their classroom.  I feel fortunate to have grown up with technology and I feel rather comfortable lea3333259091rning to use new online tools and applications.  I imagine it would be quite difficult and/or nerve-wracking for a teacher who has been teaching for 15+ years to see and hear about other teachers using technology in their classrooms.  Right now at my school, using technology is definitely encouraged but it is not expected.  I wonder if a time will come that more forms of technology and social media will be expected in the classroom. I am sure this day will come eventually. I hope that I can learn by experience in these next few years so that I can be a mentor teacher to others who are frustrated or confused by the implementation of more digital learning and teaching.

I really enjoyed the video, Welcome to my PLE. I was very impressed with how much this Grade 7 student knows about using technology to find and present information. Her skills surpass mine! Her science teacher is doing a wonderful job at teaching his/her students to use many online applications during this paperless course.  I truly hope that this students future teachers will continue to use the same or similar teaching methods so that this student can continue to increase her knowledge of using technology to grow and learn.  I hope that other teachers, whether they use these “fancy” apps or not, can at least give their students enough flexibility to use their own method of presentation. Some students may choose to write an essay, create a diaorma, a poster or some, like the student featured in this video, may chose to use apps like evernote or glogster to present their ideas.  This video got me thinking about how my young Grade 2 students could develop a personal learning environment. I often find myself thinking “my students could never learn how to do that, they are too you, this is too complicated”. I am trying hard to break out of these thoughts this semester.  My major project, creating a class blog with my students blogging, should be a baby step in the right direction! I will try hard to have my student try at least one exciting application to share their learning.

I found Howard Rheingold’s article about social media literacies very thought provoking. I was especially interested in the first literacies he wrote about, attention.  Rheingold states that when he is lecturing, he sees his university students staring at their phones and laptops. He states that these students, this digital age, may not have been taught to focus their attention appropriately.  I found myself reflecting upon my own attention span.  I also find myself, like many others I assume, staring at my phone while watching tv or another activity.  I know I should consciously work on my focusing my attention when needed.   As teachers in the 21st century, we need to be aware of these media literacies and find ways to help our students get the best of their education while knowing that some of these media literacies may affect them.



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