Monday, March 31, 2008

Job’s for Students in the 21st Century Classroom

How much has education changed in the last 100 years. Students arrive at school and go to their classrooms to sit in their desk arranged in a nice and tidy five by five rows. We must break this mold if we are going to engage our students in the 21st Century and keep up with the rapidly paced global economy.

Here are some suggested strategies to break the mold. I wish I could tell you these are my ideas, but I can’t they are Alan November’s who I recently heard speak at the Texas DLA conference.

Academic Review Team:
• Students will create a daily / weekly review of what they learned during class time and publish it to the web in the form of a podcast, blog, or a link on the teacher website.
• Example:

Tutorial Team:
• Students will create and publish to the web mini tutorials that explain concepts so students can review on their own time.
• Example: Slope Tutorial (Click Link) This is done by a teacher rather than a student but is an excellent example

Daily Researcher:
• Choose a student that will research questions that come up during the day. This student should have access to a computer with an internet connection. Search results should be posted on a blog or website for future reference
• Example: While lecturing a student ask a question that the teacher does not know possibly an extension to what was supposed to be taught that day. The teacher notifies the researcher and he/she looks it up on the web and gives a concise definition or tutorial.

Global Communication Team:
• Students will build relationships with classrooms within the district, state, country and world to make learning more engaging and meaningful.
• Example: While studying about the American Revolution students will contact a classroom in England and discuss point of view between how each country’s history books discuss the war.
o Free software such as Skype will enable classrooms to communicate
o to download.

Daily Scribe:
• Classroom note taker or note takers. Students will collaboratively take notes in a place where everyone can read and modify.
• Example: Students use an online document creator such as Google Docs to collaborate with other students within the classroom and can be saved to add and subtract through out the year. Also notes can be studied at any internet enabled computer.