Saturday, January 09, 2010

Teaching in the 21st Century

Image from Andrew Churches' blog  Edorigami

Today when I decided to reread articles form my delicious account about web 2.0, I found Andrew Churches' excellent post 21st century Pedagogy which sums up what web 2.0 means for pedagogy in the 21st century.

How we teach must reflect how our students learn, it must also reflect the world they will emerge into. This is a world that is rapidly changing, connected, adapting and evolving.

Teachers of any and all subjects in  today's classrooms need to take advantage of the many internet tools that allow for 21st century learning or social learning.  Most teachers are familiar with cooperative learning and probably incorporate this type of activity into their lessons.  However, new technology allows students to cooperate and collaborate with others beyond the classroom walls.  Students can now participate in real world projects with global partners.  Such projects take careful planning on the part of teachers, but like any good learning activities, the rewards for the learners can be great and there are many sites such as ePals ,to name just one, that can facilitate such activities.

In a similar vein among the emerging trends that have special significance for educators, Steve Hargadon in Web 2.0 Is the Future of Education includes the following trends:
  • The world gets flatter and faster
  • Social learning moves to center stage
  • The age of the collaborator
Some teachers are fearful of the new technologies because of unfamiliarity and because the tools themselves  tend to mutate (usually for the better) so quickly.  However, if teachers keep in mind the aspects of 21st century teaching  outlined in Churches diagram, and choose just one collaborative tool to use to meet their teaching goals, they will have contributed a great deal to their students learning in this new era of teaching and learning.

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