The video below is from a recent (2-2-2010) Frontline program: Digital Nation that clearly illustrates the dilemma we face as educators in the 21st century. Please watch it.
See this section for other important → Digital Nation video excerpts.
This document (a WIKI) is intended as an introduction to a number of key concepts and assumptions concerning technology and its role and use in the classroom. There is currently a very strong push from many sources to incorporate more technology, moving toward a goal of technology integration. While we see this as an important component in our educational program, we wish to proceed cautiously, with an eye towards spending wisely and adopting those approaches that result in improved outcomes for students at all levels.
Below you will find a number of excellent resources that will help establish a base for further discussion and exploration of this area. These include:
The reader is also strongly encouraged to read the articles in the Important Contrarian Viewpoints section.
Core Subjects and 21st Century Themes
Mastery of core subjects and 21st century themes is essential to student success. Core subjects include English, reading or language arts, world languages, arts, mathematics, economics, science, geography, history, government and civics. In addition, schools must promote an understanding of academic content at much higher levels by weaving
21st century interdisciplinary themes into core subjects:
Learning and Innovation Skills
Learning and innovation skills are what separate students who are prepared for increasingly complex life and work environments in today’s world and those who are not. They include:
Information, Media and Technology Skills
Today, we live in a technology and media-driven environment, marked by access to an abundance of information, rapid changes in technology tools and the ability to collaborate and make individual contributions on an unprecedented scale. Effective citizens and workers must be able to exhibit a range of functional and critical thinking skills, such as:
Life and Career Skills
Today’s life and work environments require far more than thinking skills and content knowledge. The ability to navigate the complex life and work environments in the globally competitive information age requires students to pay rigorous attention to developing adequate life and career skills, such as:
“The annual Horizon Report describes the continuing work of the New Media Consortium’s Horizon Project, a qualitative research project established in 2002 that identifies and describes emerging technologies likely to have a large impact on teaching, learning, or creative inquiry on college and university campuses within the next five years.”
The Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21) is an advocacy organization “focused on infusing 21st century skills into education.” P21 is comprised of leaders in business, education, and government.
“ISTE is the premier membership association for educators and education leaders engaged in improving learning and teaching by advancing the effective use of technology in PK-12 and higher education.” The association publishes National Educational Standards (NETS) and Performance Indicators for students, teachers, and administrators (see pdfs on right side of page).
“New Media Literacies (NML), a research initiative based within USC's Annenberg School for Communication, explores how we might best equip young people with the social skills and cultural competencies required to become full participants in an emergent media landscape and raise public understanding about what it means to be literate in a globally interconnected, multicultural world.” (See the video.)
from IT's Elementary! Integrating Technology in the Primary Grades, by Boni Hamilton
Steve Hargadon, the director of the K12 Open Technologies Initiative at the Consortium for School Networking, summarizes the role and benefits of web 2.0 in education.
A joint venture by the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers that describes “the current state of technology in public schools and classrooms, as reported directly by classroom teachers and instructional assistants who use technology at school.”
The Consortium of School Networking, a professional association for school district technology leaders, offers several articles in its “publications” section that explore the educational value of technology integration (see “The Digital Promise: Transforming Learning with Innovative Uses of Technology” and “Technology in Schools: What Research Says”).
Bloom's Taxonomy revised by a New Zealand teacher to include “digital additions.”
School Library Journal offers an online, self-paced web 2.0 program based on the original created by Helene Blowers. The program is designed around web 2.0 technologies that are freely available on the Internet.
A web 2.0 digital storytelling tool with great potential in the educational community, VoiceThread provides a platform for creating a “collaborative, multimedia slide show.” This link takes you to a database of articles about successful VoiceThread projects.
The American Association of School Librarians suggests 25 web 2.0 websites/tools that “foster the qualities of innovation, creativity, active participation, and collaboration.”
|An Example||Social Bookmarking|
|Diigo a Web 2.0 Bookmarking Tool|
|Watch On Youtube||Watch|
We believe they offer a healthy balance and valuable perspectives that challenge some basic assumptions and motivations concerning the role of technology in education.
In the British Journal of Educational Technology, Australian academics present a critical analysis of key underlying assumptions regarding the notion of “digital natives” and the call for widespread change in education.
Jamie McKenzie, the Editor of From Now On - The Educational Technology Journal as well as The Question Mark and No Child Left, offers a thoughtful analysis of the call to radically reform education to promote “21st century skills.”
A Reply To Steve Hargadon: In response to Moving Toward Web 2.0 in K-12 Education:
Daniel Willingham, psychology professor at the University of Virginia, argues that “the wisest course may not be to find “best practices” [web 2.0] with the expectation that they will apply across the board, but rather to expect that teachers will select pedagogical practices based on their own strengths and the material they teach.”
Daniel Willingham (see above article) and Andrew Rotherham, co-founder and publisher of Education Sector, an independent national education policy think tank, discuss three key challenges the 21st century skills movement must address: ensure that “content is not shortchanged,” commit to the “massive undertaking” of professional development, and develop assessments that measure these skills.
This Education Week article covers the debate over the intentions of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21) group. Critics charge that it's “a veiled attempt by technology companies—which make up the bulk of the group’s membership—to gain more influence over the classroom.”
Diane Ravitch is Research Professor of Education at New York University; senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.; and co-chairman of Common Core. Ravitch, an advocate of knowledge-centered education, argues against skills-centered education.
Mike Rose, a professor of education in the Graduate School of Education & Information Studies at UCLA, expresses his concern regarding the economic motive driving the 21st-century skills movement.
Nicholas Carr writes on the social, economic, and business implications of technology. This essay, which first appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, has been collected in three anthologies. Carr wonders whether we may be losing our ability to read deeply.
We are looking into the feasibility of Kahn Academy as an adjunct or replacement for certain parts of our middle school math curriculum.
Gates Foundation is a big supporter of the KA approach
Blog by a teacher currently using Kahn Academy in the Los Altos School District http://lasdandkhanacademy.edublogs.org/
Blog post by Sylvia Martinez of the GenerationYes website http://genyes.org/
Problems with Kahn Academy from an educators viewpoint. See especially links at the bottom of the page to other critical reviews.
youtube piece entitled “Khan Academy and the Effectiveness of Science Videos” by Derek Muller, who has his own site http://www.veritasium.com/