Sunday, March 13, 2011

21st Century Traits and 10 Elements of High-Quality Digital Learning

I was following Twitter this evening and came across a post from Derek Keenan on the Developing Education blog.  Derek lists 5 traits that are essential for teachers who are working with changing students and practices.

5 Traits of the  21st Century Teacher  
  1. Driven to Learn - Educators absolutely must be driven to learn in order to teach effectively in the 21st Century. It is no longer acceptable to teach only from a textbook, to rely on the same worksheets an methods year after year without at least questioning them and researching why they are the best resource available. There is simply too much new information, too many new strategies, and new learning available to us to ignore the implications it may have for students in our classes.
  2. A Media Creation Expert - Whether posted online or simply used in the classroom, our materials must be highly engaging and effective. Powerpoint and Word are becoming antiquated as newer and more powerful presentation and editing suites become available to teachers. It is our responsibility to compete (where necessary) with the quality of video games and media construction in order to hook students into great learning. As media conscious teachers, we can win student attention by working with them, not against them, for their learning.
  3. A Digital Navigator – Not many teachers would consider themselves digital natives, but we must understand enough about digital content and how it is used to effectively operate in our student’s world. This means having social media accounts and understanding how they are used, even if you don’t use them specifically for learning. We must be familiar enough with the new digital landscape that we can help students navigate their journey online, even if we don’t (or can’t) join them.
  4. An Empathetic Mentor – Gone are the days when teachers dole out assignments and send students on their merry way. A modern educator realizes the plethora of factors impacting students in our current world, and strives to tailor learning where possible toward individualized needs and interests. This student-centered focus also creates learning opportunities for the teacher to learn with students, developing their teaching and collaborative skills.
  5. A Technology Harmonizer – As teachers of our time, we must realize the implications of pervasive technologies such as smart phones and highly mobile tablets/computers. In addition, we must find ways to ‘make it work’ with technology, which may include enlisting students to help or (as in trait 1) learn more about the technologies we are using. One of the keys here is that we work at making the technology work (in the best way we can) so the lesson becomes about the learning instead of the management of machines
I was thinking about the number of PD and graduate classes I have taught over the last few years and I've been impressed with the way teachers are driven to learn, especially after being introduced to twitter and social media tools.

Another new source to review
What are the 10 Elements of High-Quality Digital Learning ?
The Digital Learning Council has just released the “10 Elements of High-Quality Digital Learning” which recommends major changes to state education policy that include eliminating seat-time requirements, making a move to competency based learning and assessment, reconsidering funding and tools we provide students for example, funding and providing infrastructure for the real tools of the 21st century for those without access i.e. netbooks rather than textbooks, internet for all, and harnessing the power of tools students already own such as cell phones.

Upcoming Live Webinar -
Harnessing the 10 Elements of High-Quality Digital Learning for Your School District
Wednesday, March 30, 1 p.m. EDT
Also available "on demand" any time 24 hours after the event.

Free registration is now open.

3 comments:

mrpceducator said...

This is all so true Mary and I can't tell you how many teachers I come across on a daily basis that only want to teach in the same way they have been doing so for the past 20 -30 years. I believe this is in large part due to individuals not knowing the opportunities available to teachers today and the lack of funding in districts during hard economic times (past 10 years). I am thankful for this class and MESPA for giving me the background I need in order to get excited about teaching again, and learning the many ways in which I can continue to learn and build my skills on my own.

Ed said...

I agree with Jim...SOME, not all, have so much as said, "Do we have to learn something new?" Again, they simply don't know what they don't know.

Jessica Wedman said...

WE have to be willing to be flexible in the learning environment. I'e learned in the past couple of days that we need to listen to our students, sometimes they can be our best "teachers" to learn new medial