Thursday, December 27, 2007

The debate about Learning in the 21st C by 21st C Educators

I am endebted again to Kim Cofino and her colleagues Dennis Harter, Justin Medved, Struan Robinson and Teresa Belisle from the International School in Bangkok, for their energy and enthusiasm for embracing Web 2.0 technology into the curriculum in their recent discussions on Embedding 21st Century Literacy into Curriculum Planning ( Kim is 21st Century Literacy Specialist at the International School) , and also internalising tech such as blogging for their own means of reflection ( this kind of joined up thinking using new technology tools is what, I, for one tried and failed to get embedded in my school/ local area - and may be why I ultimately sought to find people to work with who have this degree of 'vision').
To have teaching colleagues embrace not only blogging but also collaborative Google Docs as a means of not only communicating their ideas must be truly galvanising, but also allowing the wider community to make changes to the document, making it a truly 21st Century work in progress- in Struan's words
"Why do I share this thinking and this story? I come back to the opening anecdote about our visiting literacy specialist who was impressed with our intellectual thinking. It made me reflect- through our daily collaboration, I am challenged everyday. We are asking big questions and although we don’t have all the answers, we are hungry for more. 21st Century thinking… bring it on!!"


It was on Dennis Harter's blog that I came across his post on Why they need us, in which he had used Mike Wesch's thought provoking video as a discussion point on the effectiveness of education in the classroom or lecture room of the 21st Century.

a short video summarizing some of the most important
characteristics of students today - how they learn, what they need to learn, their goals, hopes, dreams, what their lives will be like, and what kinds of changes they will experience in their lifetime. Created by Dr Michael Wesch in collaboration with 200 students at Kansas State University.




Thank you again Kim and the progressive staff at ISB for your work, which I am sure others grappling with implementing and embedding 21st Century Literacies into their Curriculum will find really useful.

3 comments:

Kim Cofino said...

Paul,

Thank you for all your positive feedback. It is truly a pleasure to be on this team - and to be able to have these kinds of discussions.

I know exactly what you mean about finding the right organization - one with vision - it makes all the difference. I think you're in for a spectacular new year at the IBO!

Kim

D. Harter said...

As Kim said, it truly is a terrific experience to be on a team that no only collaborates so well, but also pushes each other's thinking.

Our own efforts at capturing that thinking on blogs and in collaborative documents is only worthwhile when we get readers like you commenting and offering feedback - whether it is affirmation or rebuttal.

As you cited in my post, students still need us. They need us to teach them to think, question, and they need us to care. And that along with the power of the technology that is available to educators and learners makes for exciting times in education.

As you have found though, it makes for daunting times for those educators who have been doing this without these tools for so long. But we work at it, we "sell", and we bring education along.

Thanks for your support.

Denns Harter said...

Just an added side note, I forgot that Blogger uses my Google information. The link on my name in my comment above doesn't take you to my blog. The one on this does as do the ones in the post itself.

Just didn't want to lose that one potential reader because my link was wrong!

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