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: 76

Comment

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.

About

Thomas Whitby created this Ning Network.

Latest Activity

Leona Hinton posted a discussion

AI has never been so close

Dear colleagues,As an English teacher, I can not but share with you a brilliant and smart artificial intelligence tool that is going to be launched this month. Meet Emma, a self-learning authorship recognition tool that will revolutionize the world of education and academic writing. Everyone is welcome to test its beta version here http://emmaidentity.com/, just leave a request and you won't be disappointed. Has anyone already heard about…See More
Wednesday
Eileen Lennon posted a blog post

Wrapping up another year

I teach sixth grade, so I will be saying goodbye to my students in about a week. I'll see them in the hallways, but it won't be the same. They'll never be in my classroom again. That's weird to think about right now, when all I do is see them.It has me wondering; did I serve them as best I could? Did I impart all the wisdom I could into their little brains? Did I ignite a spark, or reaffirm a defeatist attitude?I have to be honest, there are some kids I won't miss. You know the kids I'm talking…See More
Monday
Stephani Shaw updated their profile
Sunday
Christine Hinkley posted an event

OLC Collaborate - Arizona at University of Arizona

September 29, 2017 all day
We will work together to define and help shape the changing university! Join OLC in Tucson for engaging speakers and dynamic discussions revolving around the topics of virtual and augmented reality, gameful learning, access to education, and the future of education. Presentations will be followed by facilitator-led discussions to allow participants to delve into each topic in greater detail.See More
Jun 16
Ronald Thomas posted a blog post

How to Enhance your Influencer Marketing?

What is Influencing Marketing?Influencer marketing is a kind of advertising that underscore on utilizing key pioneers to drive your image’s message to the loftier market, instead of promoting straightforwardly to a substantial gathering of purchasers.To put in simple words, influencer marketing is just the activity of advancing and offering items or administrations through influencers who have the ability to affect the character of a brand.Why is Influencing Marketing Important Today?Though…See More
Jun 14
Ruth Herman Wells posted events
Jun 11
Teresa Conley liked Eileen Lennon's blog post So I accidentally blew up on Twitter last week.
Jun 9
Teresa Conley replied to Teresa Conley's discussion Getting the same technology for students in specialized classrooms as the gen. ed. classrooms in the group Special Education
"You are correct which makes this a even more sad situation. It can easily be said that the students with disabilities who are included in the general education classrooms do receive the same level of technology as their non-disabled peers. However,…"
Jun 9

Awards And Nominations

© 2017   Created by Thomas Whitby.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service