Sunday, August 31, 2014

Blog Post 2: What Will Teaching in the 21st Century be Like?

A Collage of 21st Century Teacher Tools

According to Professor Dancealot by Kari Johnson

      This is a video of a professor teaching a dance class by using PowerPoint slides and demonstrating the dance moves himself. However, he doesn't allow the students to participate. The main message of this video is that you can't learn how to do something by being shown how to do it. Simply being shown how to do something will lead to boredom and not paying attention. The video ends with the final, and the students are required to dance the moves taught in the class. However, since none of the students had practice with the instructor helping them, they didn't know what they were doing. I completely agree with this conclusion. You need to practice and experience things first hand in order to truly learn them. Imagine a math class where the teacher has a PowerPoint showing the steps to solve a problem, but you are not allowed to practice. I'm a math major, and I know I would fail that course!

According to What Does It Mean to Teach in the 21st Century? by Kevin Roberts (John Strange Version)

Outline of Roberts' Argument

I. Since information is everywhere, a teacher’s job is to teach students how to validate and use this information to solve problems.
    A. What steps and skills are used to solve problems?
      Remember, Understand, Apply, Analyze, Evaluate, and Create
    B. Creation is important, but what does it mean today?
      Blogging, Podcasting, Designing, etc.
    C. What other skills are needed for these?
      Paraphrasing, Editing, Experimenting, Searching, Integrating, Networking, etc.
    D. What about Bloom’s Taxonomy?
    E. Where are they learning about responsibility, reliability, integrity, and professionalism?
      Plagiarism, Slander, Copyright, Confidentiality, etc.

II. For the classroom, this means we need to rethink tools and problems we ask students to solve.
    A. Gather and discuss data via:
      Twitter, Facebook, Online Surveys, RSS Feeds, etc.
    B. Talk about reliable sources using:
      Google, Delicious, Wikipedia, etc.
    C. How could struggling students benefit from:
      Audacity, Video Lessons, Dynamic Graphic Organizers, etc.
    D. How could students in many areas of study create an e-portfolio to save and show their work?
    E. How could students be challenged to solve problems online?
      Gain skills through researching process and create many good discussions in the classroom.

III. We can manage technology at school just like we can pencils and paper.
    A. Anything can tempt bad behavior, but they are not the source of it.
    B. Lessons and tools in the classroom need to be:
      Relevant, Challenging, and Engaging
    C. Technology is not strictly about entertainment anymore. Students need to be engaged, not entertained.
    D. Entertainment: passive, for enjoyment, short-lived, doesn’t require relevance, allows escape from problems.
    E. Engagement: active, for learning, long-term results, meaningful and applicable, solving problems.
    F. We need to provide meaningful and powerful engagement that is fun and exciting.
    G. It starts with us:
      See what’s out there, start small, collaborate, and take a risk.

      Roberts thinks to teach in the 21st Century we will need to revamp how we approach teaching. Overall, I can see where Roberts is coming from in this video. He makes several good points! Information is easily accessed, and because of that a teacher's job needs to change some. However, just because the information is there, doesn't mean that the students are using it. Most students don't go online to learn what is needed for school on a regular basis. So, the teachers are the main source of information that is being taught in the classrooms. Don't get me wrong, there is a lot of information out there and students need guidance as to how to use it respectfully and effectively. I also agree that there are benefits for students if we use technology in school and at home to further their engagement and ability to learn. However, teachers still have to tell the students to access that information and hold them accountable for it. If Roberts is correct and everything that he suggests needs to be done, then it change the way I teach in the future. I will have many resources at my fingertips to share with my students. It may not be the way I envisioned teaching, but it is not a downgrade. This change will require a lot more effort on my part, and I'm okay with that! It's all for the students anyways, and this gives them a lot more opportunities.

According to Networked Student by Wendy Drexler

      This video is very simple, but it shows the concept of collaborative learning using technology. The majority of the video is explaining this process, but at the end, a question is asked. "Why does [the networked student] even need a teacher?" (Networked Student. 4:12.) The teacher is there to help the student get started, to help them learn about the connectivity process, and to help the student figure out how to solve problems along the way. I agree with this completely. It is very important for students to actually do the work themselves if they want to retain the information for future use. I know that the little bit I have learned so far will be much easier to remember than if I were just told what to do.

According to Harness Your Students'Digital Smarts by Vicki Davis

      Vicki Davis believes that if you empower and encourage students, they can learn to learn. Davis states "every child can learn, but... when you have only paper and only pencil then only certain types of children are going to succeed." I believe this is true! It is unfair to those students who don't learn the traditional way. When I was in high school, I ended up helping many of my friends understand math because they couldn't understand it the way the teacher was teaching it. I just approached the problems from a different angle(pun intended) and with different words. That is what made me want to teach math. Since that moment, I have been saying that everyone can learn math; they just need the right teacher. Now I understand that it's not just the teacher, it's the method, and maybe that's why it is important to bring technology into the classroom.

According to Who's Ahead In The Learning Race by John Strange

      In this video, Dr. Strange is going over different ways technology is used in the classroom. While he is doing this, he is comparing elementary, undergrad, and grad to see who is using technology the most. So, who's ahead in this race? Here's my tally:
      Elementary: //// //// //
      Undergrad: //// / Coming Soon: ////
      Grad: /// Coming Soon: //// //
It is obvious that elementary students are using technology more in their classrooms, but I would like to point out that undergrad and grad are catching up! Now the question is who will win the race? And is it ever truly over? I personally don't think so, but that's a good thing, right?

According to Flipping the Classroom by Ms. Munafo (Uploaded by Lodge McCammon)

      Flipping the classroom is somewhat new to me. I think the term is throwing me off. In my math courses at the University of South Alabama, the teacher gives us sections to read and problems to attempt as homework before he goes over the section. He also puts these on Sakai in case we didn't have the chance to write them down in class. This is the same concept as flipping the classroom. I just look at it as homework to prepare for the next lesson. I think that this approach is extremely useful, and I have personally benefited from it as a student. As a future educator, I look forward to flipping my classroom! This will allow my students to figure out what they are having issues understanding. When they get to class, they can ask me specific questions that are tailored to what the student needs individually. I think this is great! Otherwise, I would spend all class simply explaining it on a basic level instead of being able to delve into the problems to help students truly understand.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog!
Jennifer L. Cole


  1. Jennifer,
    First of all I just want to say great job on going into such detail throughout your blog! It made me want to keep reading just to see how you were going to explain certain things. I really like how you connect with the readers by being witty, by using things like "pun intended" HAHA! From a grammatical angle, you don't have any mistakes that I came across. Overall, the way you have your blog post organized is very effective, neat, and it kept my attention. We also have similar views on certain topics such as, flipping the classroom. I also think it is a great way for students to learn the lessons before they are in class, so that they can focus on working through the lesson/problems instead of spending too much time with instruction. This way the teacher and students benefit with more time to practice the curriculum and less time reading from a textbook. I too will one day use this method in my classroom to see what improvements it can make!

    1. Robin,

      Thank you so much for your compliments! I did spend a lot of time trying to make sure I was putting enough detail in my blog! I view a lot of things, from what I think, in a unique perspective, and I wanted to make sure that everyone understood where I was coming from. I'm glad that the organization was effective, too!

      It's cool we share the same views on that topic. Most people focus on the fact that the student has to "learn" the lesson before it is taught, but I like to think of it as preparing for a deeper understanding of the lesson!

      Even though I spent about 8 hours on this post, I am the most proud of (and excited about) me figuring out how to make tally marks in HTML!!! (I was going to put some in here, but an error message said it wasn't allowed.)

      Thanks so much for your comment!
      Jennifer Cole

  2. Great job!

    I really like how you tallied up who is using technology the most in the Who is Ahead in the Learning Race video.

    1. Thanks so much! I was trying to portray that video in a creative and unique way, and I was super excited when I found out how to do it!

      Thanks again for reading my post and commenting!
      Jennifer Cole