21st Century Teaching and Learning
Education is poised for major education reform through the major increase in the integration of educational technology.
These new 21st Century tools are making a revolution possible, changing how teachers teach and how students learn. Among the many new tools and content sources now available to students and teachers are curriculum-focused digital libraries; interactive whiteboards; online courses; social media; student tools for collaborating, selecting, organizing, and presenting their ideas to other students, parents, and teachers.
Teacher blogs and websites invite collaboration on developing teaching strategies and uses of technology that lead to best practices, student, teacher, and student blogs and Twitter feeds for sharing ideas and information, interactive simulations that provide visual reinforcement of abstract ideas, and online formative assessment and increases in student achievement.
Perhaps the most important application of technology is to help teachers differentiate instruction for challenged, mainstream, and advanced learners. Ongoing scientific research on learning demonstrates that students achieve at higher levels when teachers and students have daily access to these elements of differentiated instruction:
- Quick and easy access to a wide variety of relevant learning resources and media types for both historic and current topics that students can read and understand.
- Learning assignments that focus on topics/issues relevant to student interests.
- Tools that help student organize, analyze, and synthesize information quickly for problem solving and critical thinking.
- A variety of models, strategies, and assessment criteria that students can use to create and demonstrate what they have learned to a variety of audiences using technology.
Have students explore some of the issues of the use of technology and Web 2.0 in schools and how that impacts student learning and achievement and teacher management of the learning process.
Go to SIRS Issues Research
Select the Visual Browse options
Select School, Family, and Youth > Technology > Web 2.0
Assign students to write a Pro or Con report of at least 150 words or a presentation of at least seven slides. Students should cite at least three resources that addresses the essential question presented with this issue at the top center (you can add or substitute others).
Encourage students to use the new Web 2.0 tools that help student organize, analyze, and synthesize the information into reasoned conclusions. Links to these critical thinking tools are integrated into each Leading Issue and found beneath the Topic Overview: Research Guides (don’t miss the unique student template “Research Guide for Critical Thinking”) and Notes Organizer in particular.
Students can select from a variety of report and presentation models to demonstrate what they have learned: Mini-debate models; mini-research written models, and PowerPoint presentation template models. The links to these models is found by clicking the RESEARCH GUIDES icon.