Sunday, March 25, 2012

What is a 21st Century Classroom?

Welcome to your 21st Century Classroom learning experience (This blog is designed to go with a PD course I am teaching, but there may be something here for everyone!) There is one thing you need to understand to find success in this model: Be ready to fail. Please don’t take this as my wish for you to fail, it truly is my wish for you to succeed. If you are willing to succeed at a high level, to take on new challenges, to try new technologies, and turn your classroom inside out, you will undoubtedly hit some rough spots, run into roadblocks, and occasionally you will flat out fail. Without failure, there is no progress. Nike captures this concept simply with this Michael Jordan commercial.
Now that you are ready to fail, let’s get on with the show. (if you aren’t yet, just hold tight!)

What is a 21st Century Classroom?

  • It is a classroom that brings in 21st Century skills, including digital literacy, and creates an experience that is student centric with limitless technological tools at the fingertips of you and your students. (Read here to get a quick summary of 21st Century Skills) 
  • It is a classroom led by a 21st Century Teacher. That is, a teacher who is willing to take risks, collaborate with others, let students lead, and much more (Educational Oragami)
  • It is ultimately unique: Will you use a Wiki, a blog, online discussion, video, audio, websites, social media, Google apps, project based learning, flipped classrooms, Web 2.0, etc? Sure, pick one, pick all and start implementing it in a way that is pushing your comfort zone and most importantly, that you feel is educationally worthwhile.

My 21st Century Classroom is project based. I have online discussions, student produced videos online, Google Docs, and social media all in play. Every year I add something new and I frequently take out something that has become stale. This is for me to decide. The goal is for my students to be the best they can be. I have a class website, but it tends to sit with very little use, mostly as a repository for useful documents that rarely change. Here is a list of the top 5 tools I use almost every week:

  1. Edmodo - class discussions and so much more
  2. Google Docs - Create documents, share documents, collaborate
  3. Schooltube - Post and moderate student videos to share with the world
  4. - Simplify those long tedious links AND get stats on how many people click them
  5. Twitter - Amazing place to send out info, photos, and links, AND a great place to learn!

This is just my current list. It does not include the dozens to hundreds of website my students and I use for research, online tools, email, etc.

I welcome you to share what you are already doing and to consider the very distinct possibility that if you take this on, it will not only make education more enjoyable and more rewarding, it will also succeed in making your classroom a place where students learn more in a way that matters.

1 comment:

  1. I love this commercial!!! I've seen that before and I think no truer words can be spoken. The problem with this mode of thinking is getting students to buy into the fact that its okay to fail as long as you can still take something away from the experience. Getting students to take risks that put their ideas out in the open is getting more and more difficult.


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