Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Model for 21st Century Instruction

What do we mean by 21st Century Learning?

For many years we have bandied about the term 21st Century Learning, and while there have been attempts to define and establish an understanding of it, confusion remains. I heard a teacher say to me this week, "Oh, you mean how we use technology?"

Believe it or not, it's not all about technology. I would prefer to think of it as a frame of reference for changing, molding and directing education. In an Edutopia article by Eric Sheninger an interesting model for 21st Century Pedagogy is displayed with strategies for school leaders:

(Sheninger, E. (August 8, 2011). An Open Letter to Principals: Five Leadership Strategies for the New Year. Edutopia. Retrieved August 9, 2011 at http://goo.gl/rJYZ3)

This article is a must read! The focus that school leaders need to be the model and the example for their staff makes the difference when echoing empty phrases, such as 21st Century Learning. In fact, it is more than just "learning". It's instruction and collaborative planning with a healthy dose of assessment to verify if learning actually occurred. Oh yes, there might be some technology. But, technology does not solely mean for the teacher to use. It's also for the students to actively engage with.

Learning in the 21st century must be three dimensional, experiential and constructivist to be real learning. Model this for your teachers this year and accept the new thinking soon,

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