For centuries, education was “done” pretty much the same way it has been done in the past. But, in the 21st century, with the outbreak of technology and its availability to the masses, learning and education is now being rethought, redesigned.
I agree wholeheartedly with the statement in Learning in the 21st century that students are woefully unprepared in facing the challenges of the job market when they leave school. So, I’m really glad to hear that the Partnership for 21st century skills is working towards bridge that gap.
As I went through the list of six key elements of 21st century learning, I particularly appreciated the emphasis on instilling learning skills in students. Knowledge that is now available to students is exploding that it might not always be possible for educators to actually teach them everything they need to know. But, ensuring that students know how to learn on their own ensures that they can keep up with the latest.
I also love #4—teach and learn in a 21st century context. Although this seems like a no-brainer, right now, it seems liked educators need to play catch-up in the instructional methods and strategies they are using. If your students prefer using e-readers to books, or using the internet, instead of objecting to it, ensure they do it right.
I hadn’t quite realized that all these changes in how learning is done means that measuring students’ skills also needs to change.
In Part 1—The need for Change, the authors highlight the importance of lifelong skills development. As I was re-doing my resume recently, I just realized something. In each of the past 4 jobs (spanning over 61/2 years), I’ve used a different software to get the same kind of job done. No wonder my head hurts sometimes.
So far, I agreed with most things in the report. But, I must admit I’m a little disappointed to read that standardized tests are here to stay (even though they may look very different from previous avatars). But, it’s a relief that more study is being done to evaluate their effectiveness.
From the report, the most encouraging bit of news is that going forward, education is going to be a collaborative effort that includes partners from outside the field of education.
Onto the three E’s of education article–the section on mobile learning trends piqued my interest. I can see why teachers might think of handheld-devices as a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, students are more engaged, and can benefit from personalized learning. On the other hand, these gadgets can be used to cheat on tests.
Hmm, so BYOT bombed? Can’t say I’m surprised. After all there’s no way the teacher would be well-versed in every device available out there. But, I can’t help wonder whether this program could have been saved with a few modifications. How about using it for self-learning segment of the course? And, just show the instructor the final product—don’t involve him or her in the process at all.
Ok, I end with a question. Why is the extension of the learning day a benefit of learning using digital content? If we are being more effective in our learning, shouldn’t we also focus on efficiency and speed? Just saying.