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21st Century Education Essay

We want stronger relationships with their teachers, with each other and with their communities locally, provincially, nationally and globally We want teachers to know how we learn, to take into account what we understand and what we misunderstand and use this knowledge as a starting place to guide our continued learning. We want to be able to work with others in the classroom, online and in our community. We want to be able to pick up our information anywhere, anytime We want indepth learning.

We need feedback in time to help us learn and in time do something about it.

This literary masterpiece has the best description of the students/learners of the 21st century. They have so many conditions and aspirations with regards to their learning process. This will also help the teachers of the 21st century to be ready and bear with these conditions of the leaners.

TREATING MY STUDENTS

I treat each of my students equally, giving them a chance to take responsibility for their own learning, express themselves, and learn at their own pace. I also encourage them to do collaboratively that can promote not only teamwork, but also healthy competition. I believe my biggest innovation is giving students a chance to show their abilities and to work
in collaboration in a technology-integrated and cultural learning environment. I will also consider their individual learning styles.

The following are some tips that should be consider in treating our students in a nice and good way.

Let students choose their rewards. Create a list of acceptable rewards for excellent performance, either for individual students or the class as a whole, and let your students communally decide how they want to be rewarded. This will help make sure that the reward is an actual incentive, rather than just something you’ve pushed on them that doesn’t motivate them to work harder. Don’t see failure, see opportunity. When a student has made a mistake, don’t portray it that way. Don’t see it as a failure and don’t let them see it as a failure. Show them that it is a learning experience, a way for them to see how incorrect results are achieved. Let them try again and gently show them how to do it correctly. Remember, don’t say “wrong”. Say “close” or “good try”. Remember that a skill learned through trial and error will be much stronger than one which a student may simply get right on accident or through means they don’t fully understand. Make them feel unique and needed.

Acknowledge and appreciate each student individually, for the qualities which make them unique and wonderful human beings. Encourage those qualities. You should also make each student feel like they have something to offer and contribute. This will raise their confidence and help them to find their proper path in life. Recognize their efforts. Even if students make only occasional, small efforts, those efforts need to be acknowledged and appreciated. Tell them when they’ve done a good job, individually, and mean it. Don’t be patronizing, be appreciative. If they’ve worked particularly hard, reward them. Give respect. It is extremely important to respect your students. It doesn’t matter if they’re graduate students working on a doctoral thesis or kindergartners: treat them like intelligent, capable human beings. Respect that they have ideas, emotions, and lives that extend beyond your classroom. Treat them with dignity and they will extend the same to you.

TEACHING MY STUDENTS

“One can’t believe impossible things.”

“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Your Assignment, Should You Choose to Accept It . . .

Like Alice, many educators, policy makers and even the general public respond resoundingly with “That’s impossible!” when challenged to adopt a new paradigm of education for the 21st century. Most people today adhere to a paradigm of education that is strictly 19th century. But, like the Queen, a growing number of educators are believing in and accomplishing “the impossible”.

Scott McLeod, in his blog, Dangerously Irrelevant, recently reminded us of a line from Mission Impossible, and we must apply that challenge to all of society. “Your assignment, should you choose to accept it” is to take education truly into the 21st century. It is not enough to say that we are already living there. Technically it is the 21st century, but our schools are not there, and our challenge now is to reinvent schools for the 21st century – for the sake of our children, our students and the welfare of our world. Making such a paradigm shift is not easy. After all, when any of us thinks of education, we usually think of what we knew as school – the way it has always been. That is how parents, policy makers, politicians and many students think of school. But we have to make the paradigm shift to 21st century education.

So what is 21st century education? It is bold. It breaks the mold. It is flexible, creative, challenging, and complex. It addresses a rapidly changing world filled with fantastic new problems as well as exciting new possibilities. Fortunately, there is a growing body of research supporting an increasing number of 21st century schools. We have living proof,
inspiring examples to follow, in schools across the United States. These schools vary, but are united in the fundamentals of 21st century education – see Critical Attributes of 21st Century Education and Multiple Literacies for the 21st Century. Scott McLeod has issued the challenge of creating a plan to get us from “here” to “there”.

I feel that its about time that someone address’s the issues that face many students in the 21st century. The 21st century is a great place; a dynamic place that is evolving to the point where no one can predict what the world will be like in the years to come. Technology drives our planet and everyday we are getting closer and closer to finding the solutions to many of life’s problems. Society itself is changing in the sense that there is no longer one road to success. The opportunities that are out there make it possible for the everyday individual to make a difference in his community with nothing more than the laptop in his book back and the diligence to make his dreams possible. The success of these individuals is largely due to the connectivity and will of the everyday man. The Internet is an open network where people share information that they feel would make life easier, information that would break down the walls that stand in our way.

The issue being with all this information and students in the 21st century is that we are still living in the good old days. Our schools train us to pass but not to excel. Things like funding prevent schools from exploring fields that are revolutionizing our world. Our students are the ones who pay the price for living in a world that believes we can live in a world that ignores the changes being made. That in good time our students will learn to adapt to the changes and handle it all on their own. But that isn’t the case. We are fighting two battles that are constantly racing to the top: one that promotes the simple life and the other that promotes change. Both sides have their pros and both sides have their cons. But something needs to be done. We have to find a way to teach our students the fundamentals while preparing them for a world that is driven by technology. Purpose and collaboration is all it will take to provide our students with the direction needed to be successful in the 21st century.

It’s hard to believe but experiences is key to teaching students in the 21st
century. As adults we can understand what these students are going through. We know what it feels like to be a student at that age and the adversities they face. Therefore wouldn’t it make more sense to teach these students not to make the same mistakes we made as students. To teach them how to confront the challenges we once faced and what to do differently when that time comes. But in a world where money restricts what we are able to accomplish, it seems almost impossible to do this. Funding prevents the everyday school from promoting classes in fields that are revolutionizing our world. Funding stops our schools from having up to date materials. And funding is what will cripple the world we live in. An efficient solution must be found that eliminate the dollar sign that stands in the way of these schools, in the way of these students. Technology is one solution to this problem. The main purpose of technology is to invent something that provides a new or better way of doing something; something that is cost efficient and provides room for expansion. These are the tools we should be equipping our students with. It would provide them with the same education they are getting from the textbooks they are so used to. The books will continue to exist but will no longer be the only resource our students are exposed to.

The logic behind teaching students with technology in the 21st century is that technology appeals more to students in a world driven by technology. The average student knows what a computer is, is part of a social network of some sort, and has used technology to help them do something in their everyday lives. It would thus make perfect sense to use what they use so much as a teaching tool. Technology isn’t just entertaining; it’s also educational. Hundreds of tutorials are out there and everyday new and better programs are being created. The people themselves who make these programs made them with the sole purpose of provide an easier, better way of doing something. They are inventors, engineers, and they’re also teachers. They’re people who saw a problem and found a solution. These are the type of people we should be motivating our students to be like. We should be teaching our student not to accept things the way they are but the way they should be.

Purpose is another crucial element when it comes to teaching students in the 21st century. The tools being used will have no effect if there is no
purpose behind their use. Teaching in the 21st century is thus a dynamic process. There isn’t a simple answer in terms of how to teach in the 21st century. It requires creativity and resourcefulness not found in the simple lifestyle we are teaching our students to live in. The purpose behind teaching in the 21st century would be to find easier, more dynamic ways of teaching students with higher goals and expectations. Motivating students to be the best they can be and showing them how to work towards that goal. That things such as money, fear, and doubts shouldn’t be the reason to do the minimum but should instead remind us that as a student in the 21st century you should be well rounded and resourceful; ready to take whatever life throws at you.

As a student in the 21st century you have to remember that you do not stand alone; that collaboration is a key and very powerful element in this idea of teaching students in the 21st century with technology. As a driving force the possibilities are endless. The community aspect and project-based learning that comes with teaching in the 21st century is what will provide the huge turnout in students who excel not only in the classroom, but also in life. Collaboration is what makes this window of opportunity possible. It teaches students how to work together and provides them with real world experience. Collaboration helps a student see that the life isn’t all about survival of the fittest but establishing connections and using the connectivity available to produce results and motivate change. This is what makes teaching in the 21st century with technology different from through the simple life and the belief that passing is more important than excelling.

Neither idea is perfect. At the end of the day it all comes down to the students. The information we provide and the influence we are able to make is what will ultimately decide what our students are able to accomplish. The use of technology and the implication of 21st century skills in a world driven by technology is what open windows of opportunities to students all across the globe. Students in the 21st century are well aware of the adversities they face; so aware that they would fear taking a chance and pursing fields where they might not measure up. Our schools push this idea forward instead of persuading students to pursue these illustrious careers.
What students in the 21st century need is direction and change. We need real world experience that proves to that there is a way and that accepting things the way they are is accepting defeat.

If you want to see the future of education, don’t watch children in the average classroom. Watch children play a video game. You’ll see them engaged, excited, interacting, and learning—even if it’s only about how to get to the next level of the game. Because of their immersion in this computerized world, children absorb information differently from their parents. Instead of following information passively from beginning to end—as people tend to do with television shows, newspapers, and books—children interact with the new technologies.

Schools now have an opportunity to apply the information technologies that are so effective outside the classroom for educational purposes. Taking advantage of these new technologies will require profound changes in the roles of teachers, students, and schools. Instead of being the repository of knowledge, teachers will be guides who help students to navigate through electronically accessible information. They will use the new technologies to build networks with each other, with parents and students, with academic and industrial experts, and with other professionals.

Turning opportunity into reality requires four important changes: Industry must develop educational devices from comparatively low-price game hardware and software, thereby dramatically lowering the costs of educational technology. Communities and government should include technological change when setting the agenda for systemic change in education. Software-makers must tie the content of their products to quality information and to the national education standards as they are implemented. Teachers must receive extensive training in how to use emerging information technologies.

Computers will not solve all the problems of education; many difficult issues will remain. But the new information technologies provide an unprecedented opportunity to reexamine how we educate our children.


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