20 Aug

21st Century Education Film Series

“The twelve first-person films that make up this series explore three related themes, each in its own way at the center of current debate about what works, and what’s needed, to help students succeed during school and in life.”

Here are the videos: http://newlearninginstitute.org/21stcenturyeducation/index.html

I’ve had the opportunity to speak with Alan November and Ian Jukes on their ideas about 21st century education.  After participating in their presentations I left excited and ready to spread that excitement.  I felt like my classroom and the classrooms of many of my colleagues already used many of the technologies and practices discussed, especially social networks and shared Google Documents.

A frequent butt-of-the-joke was the “full frontal” teacher who slowly releases information.  I catch myself sometimes while planning a lesson with this in mind and quickly flip the onus to my students, making sure to shift control and ask them to help each other with the learning objective.  I think this is the most important point to take away from their presentations.  I believe learning happens best when students experience the learning objective hands-on.  I try to ask students to work with each other to solve a posed problem, or even better identify, pose, and solve a problem themselves, without all the directions slowly placed in front of them.  It creates a more intrinsically motivated student experience.

“The formulation of a problem is often more essential than its solution, which may be merely a matter of mathematical or experimental skill. To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advances…..” -Albert Einstein

My first student club meeting for “Shawnee TV” this year will employ this type of student experience.  I will be asking students to develop a geotagging system for collecting media in an effort to enable all students with camera phones to be a reporter.  I’m hoping this will increase interest in our shows and widen our perspective on student culture.

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