The Educator's PLN

The personal learning network for educators

"If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there." -- Lewis Carroll

There is a tendency when beginning a new journey to simply want to get on with it. Pack up, head on out. I have certainly been guilty of this myself. In the frenetic pace of activity and competing demands, jumping into action is second nature for me. Yet, without a clear vision of where we are heading, we run the risk of following any road and ending up nowhere.

The many ways that the term "21st Century learning" has been applied -- to various technology deployments, to flipped classrooms, to any number of digital tools -- can blur our view of its meaning. At times, the discussions that swirl around these initiatives seem to place more emphasis on the device or tool, rather than on the larger purpose -- what it is we want our kids to learn and be able to do as active, thinking, engaged citizens.

Now, don't get me wrong. I am not opposed to digital learning tools or their use in classrooms. I am firm believer in the potential of technology  to transform learning by providing opportunities for students to explore, create, collaborate and communicate.  And, I also understand that there is a need for caution in not mistaking the tools for the outcomes.

Two thoughtful educators have helped me along my journey in bringing my vision into focus. In his recent blog post, "Varied Visions of 21st Century Learning", Daniel L. Frazier (@DanielLFrazier) points out, it is not just about applying new tools to outmoded instruction, but rather making a real difference in how students interact with others, make meaning and share their learning.

Bill Ferriter (@plugusin) takes this idea a bit further. Drawing upon the work of Robert Marzano, Richard and Rebecca DuFour and Richard Ainsworth, he argues that we need to focus our attention on the knowledge and skills  that meet the "endurance-leverage-readiness test" -- those that will have lasting impact, will have broad application and will prepare kids for the next level of learning. In short, he astutely concludes: "Wiki's and Skype aren't skills. Instead, they are tools that can make working with individual skills easier" ("Making Good Technology Choices", accessed January 3, 2013). I couldn't agree with him more.

If we want to make sure that we are on the road heading toward true transformation of our schools, then clarifying the outcomes our students will need to be fully prepared for their future is an essential first step.

I'd like to hear your thoughts and reactions. Please feel free to comment.

Views: 84


You need to be a member of The Educator's PLN to add comments!

Join The Educator's PLN

Comment by Robben Wainer on January 5, 2013 at 10:11pm

I am still  in the risk of having to settle for skills that are out dated. As I learn new tools to help enhance my educational merit, I am still a little dismayed by how much, or how little opportunity actually presents itself as a practical plan for Teaching.


Thomas Whitby created this Ning Network.

Latest Activity

Dina Indelicato posted a blog post

Tips to Master Writing an Essay in Foreign Language

With the world more connected than ever before, there are a lot of opportunities to study, work and live anywhere in the world. The thing is, if you’re going to study, work or life in a foreign country then you might well be pressed to learn and write in the language spoken there.To be…See More
Mar 13
James Jon posted a blog post

Get the Best Assignment Help for Economics

To do well in economics, students must develop a depth understanding of many theories of economics. To get the updated information students must read the newspaper. Every student doesn’t have the ability to do the economics assignment because it includes not only the economics theories and definitions but also contains the…See More
Mar 9
Profile IconDr. Brian K. Perkins, Karla Gunnoe, Amber Mann and 4 more joined The Educator's PLN
Mar 7
John Wolfgang updated their profile
Mar 7
Mailys Carles posted a blog post

GlobalExam is hiring!

In 2015, GlobalExam offered to the candidates the TOEIC, TOEFL & HSK trainings, the first online platform dedicated to language proficiency test preparation. Today, the platform helps 120 000 people succeed in 13 different tests in English, Spanish, German, Mandarin and French. Tomorrow, we plan on having trainings for 15 tests in total…We are moving fast, very fast, and more teachers are needed to keep providing learners with high quality content in order for them to succeed.If you are a…See More
Mar 7
Profile IconRuben Rivero, Nicole Olynyk, Kathleen Hutchison and 50 more joined The Educator's PLN
Mar 6
Laurie Rocconi updated their profile photo
Mar 6
Silvia Watson posted a blog post

Diploma in medical laboratory technology: Things You Should Know!

There are many courses out there that can be considered for your future. Once you enroll yourself in them, you get ready for a career.  You can check out Diploma in medical laboratory technology for your studies. Actually, these medical laboratory technicians play a significant role in prevention and diagnosis of ailments like cancer, diabetes and AIDS.  The medical lab technicians work under the proper supervision of a physician, medical technologist or lab manager and carry out laboratory…See More
Mar 1

Awards And Nominations

© 2018   Created by Thomas Whitby.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service