Monday, August 24, 2009

Wired for Learning

Google, Skype, My Space, You Tube, Twitter, Wikis, voice threads and the list goes on. How did our students become so tech-savvy? Were they born that way? Sometimes it seems so. Today's students certainly know their way around the digital world, but are often forced to "power-down" at school.

The ability to use supportive technologies for inquiry- and problem-based learning is a critical skill for 21st century learners. As a result, critical literacies have been redefined. Basic literacy skills of decoding, predicting, and summarizing are not sufficient for today's students. Instead, students must become critical consumers of information from multiple sources, questioning the contexts, purposes, biases, and applications.

As a result, today's classrooms must be "elastic," going beyond the confining walls of physical space. Today's classroom environments must integrate virtual learning experiences, on-line learning, and cyberspace learning communities.

If you are like me, with one foot in the twentieth century and another foot in the twenty-first century, this requires a reality check (not to mention the acquisition of new skills and new ways of thinking). If you dare to join me on this digital learning journey, check out the links below.

Click here for a digital version of Bloom's Taxonomy (I LOVE this!)

Click here for Larry Ferlazzo's list of Top Tools for Learning (You have to look at this!)

Click here to learn more about 21st century skills

See you in cyberspace!


  1. i think that is so important at the beginning of the year. Students need to see the connections to make them feel part of a group.

  2. I just finished reading a report from NCTE called Writing in the 21st Century (available on the NCTE webite. I put the title in the search line and then clicked on the PDF version). The report gives an historical look at writing and then shares some current practices. It is especially intriguing to read ways that students are ingesting their own humor into AP tests using loopholes of the system. Take a look. The report supports everything Cheryl said.

    I also read an account of some technology that an 8th grade teacher at Little Miami used to have her students write movie trailers for the works they were reading. She found they had a greater grasp on the concepts of the book than she had ever seen before. Writing isn't just print any more.


  3. Beth, great ideas. We'll share them with our teachers. Especially looking forward to reading the NCTE report (and the AP humor). Thanks for joining our community. M.E.

  4. IT is the new world. My daughter took part in an IT(informational technology)camp at Miami Univ. this summer. What a great experience! It was wonderful to see students from vaious high schools working in teams using their collective brains to create a "communication enhancer" invention for children with disabilities. I would like to see WC participate. check it out

  5. Kathy, I checked out the site. Interesting! Tell us more about the organization and your daughter's experience. Feel free to reply via comment or by direct email. M.E.