Goal: All learners will have engaging and empowering learning experiences both in and out of school that prepare them to be active, creative, knowledgeable, and ethical participants in our globally networked society.
To prepare students to learn throughout their lives and in settings far beyond classrooms, we must change what and how we teach to match what people need to know, how they learn, and where and when they learn and change our perception of who needs to learn. We must bring 21st-century technology into learning in meaningful ways to engage, motivate, and inspire learners of all ages to achieve.
What People Need to Learn - Education experts have proposed answers to this question, and although they differ in the details all recognize that what we need to know goes beyond the traditional three Rs of Reading, 'Riting, and 'Rithmetic. Whether the domain is English language arts, mathematics, sciences, social studies, history, art, or music, 21st-century competencies and expertise such as critical thinking, complex problem solving, collaboration, and multimedia communication should be woven into all content areas. We are still evolving our understanding of what it means to be a 21st-century learner. For example, what does it mean to be digitally literate in an age of constantly evolving technologies and resources, and how we can teach learners to use new technology in ways that are productive, creative, and responsible. One response to these essential questions is offered by the International Society of Technology in Education (ISTE), which has published the National Educational Technology Standards for Students (NETS–S).
Teaching Prepare and Connect The best way to prepare teachers for connected teaching is to have them experience it. All institutions involved in preparing educators should provide technology-supported learning experiences that promote and enable the use of technology to improve learning, assessment, and instructional practices.
The plan under section 3.2 highlights the importance of leveraging social networking technologies and platforms to create communities of practice that provide career-long personal learning opportunities for educators within and across schools, preservice preparation and in-service educational institutions, and professional organizations. Social networks can be used to provide educators with career-long personal learning tools and resources that make professional learning timely and relevant as well as an ongoing activity that continually improves practice and evolves their skills over time. Online communities should enable educators to take online courses, tap into experts and best practices for just-in-time problem solving, and provide platforms and tools for educators to design and develop resources with and for their colleagues.
In this Video David Rose the Director and Chief Scientist at CAST (the Center for Applied Special Technology) and a lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. His talk touches on everything from how technology can help schools overcome their “print disability,” to how technology can individualize learning and help kids become “expert learners,” to how it helps with tasks that humans aren’t good at so teachers can embrace their creativity and spontaneity. For a few more information you can check out some tweets from the Teacher Talk.
A few questions to think about:
Does the technology in your school support the goals in the National Technology Plan?
How does the material covered in our class meet the needs of all students?