A twenty-first century educator must first realize that most likely, their students (technology natives) probably know more about certain aspects of technology than they do. Also, 21st-century teachers must realize that they are training their students for jobs that probably don't exist today. As technology changes and evolves, so too will the jobs available to these students.
So what's a teacher to do? Teach higher thinking strategies. Use different techniques or media to teach your lessons. Become familiar with the web 2.0 apps that can enhance your classroom--Prezi, Google documents, Picasa, etc.
As a 21st Century educator, we need to realize that our students are digital natives and therefore can manipulate any technology that we give to them. I feel that I am neither an immigrant or native and have some understandings for integrating technology into a classroom. Educators need to first have goals for their students before creating any type of lesson. Once the goals for the students have been created, an educators needs to understand the different learning styles of their students before making them use the same tool as the rest of the class. Now that the goals are set, learning styles are in check, an educator needs to chose which technology they would like to integrate. There are so many tools available that we could not possibly use every single one effectively. Therefore a 21st century educator needs to understand the tools and know what they want their class to accomplish whether it is collaboration on a research project or sharing of digital storytelling. The content of the lesson is just as important as the technology so if the technology is taking over the content, then the right tool is not being used. A 21st century educator should be reflective in their instruction and know when to try new tools.
I agree that the content is more important than the technology. The technology shouldn't be added in just for a "show." If a certain lesson is best addressed with paper and pencil, or group discussion, then that is exactly what we should do.
As good educators, though, like you say we should have many tools in our toolbox and know when to apply them properly. I think that is what makes a 21st Century educator: knowing how and when to use the right technology for each lesson.
I too believe that for a teacher to be effective in the 21st. century or any century he/she needs to feel comfortable with the tools being used. If not, the students can discern this and can affect their learning. To use technology just to say "I use technology in the classroom" to appease an administrator, colleague, etc. doesn't help the students. There needs to be a balance of using any teaching tool. I find implementing the usage of technology from the teacher enhances the educational process. Revamping lesson plans to accommodate for this isn't difficult to do.
I agree with you, Jennifer. Although I'm a Technology Teacher and I feel that always being in the forefront is essential for 21st century skills, I also have days wen I chose to avoid using my smartboard and rather have a classroom discussion with my kids. There used to be teachers and students before computers and smartboards were invented and we were just fine.
21st century teacher must have a 21st century attitude in order to be successful in today's world.teaching today's children with yesterday's methodology is teaching them what is non existient. one fundamental challenge teachers are facing in todays world is the inability to change and make use of the modern day techniques n the art of teaching.change is one crucial key needed to be an effective teacher in the 21st century. a 21st century teacher must be ready to adopt easily to changes in education.
Are you aware that Thinkfinity addresses 21st century skills with lesson suggestions in a variety of subjects related to these areas:
Have you found any additional Thinkfinity lessons to use in teaching 21st century skills?
A 21st century teacher not only knows the technology but is comfortable using it. I know so many teachers that have fabulous technological resources but only use it for a "base" purpose. For example, I am so saddened when I see smart boards being used as only a "projector". I think to myself, there are so many other uses. I know for some teachers being trained ang getting better at technology is just one more thing to add to the list of 1, 245 things we have to do.
I hear the complaints "I'm not good at computers", "I'm afraid that I'll break it", "I don't want to get it wrong". When I hear these comments, I worry so much about the students. Are these teachers projecting their technological fears to their students? I also think about what types of resources or learning tools our students are missing out on.
A 21st century educator has to get away from the idea of teaching out of a textbook. He or she has to learn how to create lessons that are are real, relevant, and current. He or she has to learn how to use the tools that capture students' interest and are visual, audible, and hands-on. This may include using video or audio recordings to present information, Prezi or power point presentations, Google maps, or Skype for in-class guest speakers. The bottom line is teachers must use every available opportunity to get educated on how to use these mostly-free resources in the classroom to meet our already technologically savvy students where they are.
I think you have targeted some excellent strategies for a 21st century educator to use in fostering creativity, critical thinking skills, collaboration, and communication. Thinkfinity has thousands of free resources to assist teachers in capturing student interest through more interactive, hands-on activities. You also mention a number of tools for teaching. There are several groups and discussions within the Community that you may want to check out regarding some of your suggestions--
I agree with you that teachers really need to take advantage of professional development opportunities to stay informed about current trends in education and technology.
I agree that the 21st century educator needs to be comfortable with and use technology in the classroom. I also think that students today are very capable of finding information using this technology, but often have problems analyzing and synthesizing information. I think that finding ways to teach critical thinking and problem solving skills using technology is necessary for our students to succeed.
I recently read a website created by Virginia Beach kindergarten teachers who were developing a list of 21st century skills appropriate for teaching their students how to thrive as 21st century learners, workers, and citizens. Here is the list they devised--
Do you have a list of 21st century skills/activities that are appropriate for your age group and/or subject area? Please share.
As a Teacher and a Substitute Teacher, I was very pleased to learn I was already doing some of the activities/skills you mentioned. I have taught reading and also in many classrooms for Grades Pre K - 8 as a substitute. I have taught using the following 21st century skills: 1) Asking how and why questions and having students defend their answers and explain their thinking; 2) Using logical puzzles;
3) Listening attentively and communicating ideas;
4) Retelling a story or summarizing information;
5) Sharing and supporting opinions about a text,illustrations, and/or characters;
6) Using technology to support learning; and
7) Using technology to write stories
As teachers, we are challenged to prepare our students with 21st century skills. Sometimes a good book or article can spark an idea for teaching these skills in our classrooms.
One Community member, Theresa Gibbon, recommends Understanding the Digital Generation: Teaching and Learning in the New Digital Landscape by Jukes, McCain, and Crockett as a good book for helping us understand who the 21st century learners are and how we should be teaching them. Another member sclareau mentions, she is always looking for insight in how to teach the "digital native" students 21st century skills. She likes the fact that the authors of this book emphasize that "Teachers Must Get Off the Stage."
Kevin Conner says the "grandaddy" of all Web 2.0 books is by Will Richardson: Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms. Conner adds, "Why not instead of reading a book, dive into Web 2.0 and read Will Richardson's blog entries or search for blog entries, videos, and other online media about the kids in your school."
So what books and/or articles do you recommend to increase an educator's knowledge of teaching 21st century skills?
cmuller says, "A book I bought to help increase a teacher's knowledge of teaching 21st century skills is On The Mark Press's Media Literacy Response Forms for Grades 4-6. It helps improve reading comprehension skills through the medium of media."
I think Lynne Hoffman summed up in two of her posts exactly what skills 21st Century Teachers need. In her January 23, 2013 post Lynne says, "Are you aware that Thinkfinity addresses 21st century skills with lesson suggestions in a variety of subjects related to these areas:
Also in her May 16, 2012 post, Lynne says that she recently read a website created by Virginia Beach kindergarten teachers who were developing a list of 21st century skills appropriate for teaching their students how to thrive as 21st century learners, workers, and citizens. Here is the list they devised--