Thinking in the 21st century classroom

The world has changed – and continues to change – rapidly and radically when it comes to the ways in which we learn, and what knowledge, skills, dispositions, and forms of literacy our children will need to flourish in their futures. Real learning happens anytime, anywhere, with anyone we like – not just with a teacher and same-age peers, in a classroom from February to November. More important, it happens around the things we learners choose to learn, not what someone else tells us to learn.

In this changing world, we are entering a world of abundance, which Michael Wesch of Kansas State University describes as ubiquitous computing, ubiquitous information, ubiquitous networks, at unlimited speed, about everything, everywhere, from anywhere, on all kinds of devices that make it ridiculously easy to connect, organize, share, collect, collaborate and publish.

With this changing world we need to adapt our education programme to meet new levels of literacy in this new world. These include:

  • develop proficiency with the tools of technology

  • build relationships with others to pose and solve problems collaboratively and cross-culturally

  • design and share information for global communities to meet a variety of purposes

  • manage, analyze and synthesize multiple streams of simultaneous information

  • create, critique, analyze and evaluate multimedia texts

  • attend to the ethical responsibilities required by these complex environments.

The image below, I believe assist us greatly on this journey.


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