Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Digital access, collaboration a must for students

This article was written in response to a survey refereed to as “Speak Up 2009: Creating Our Future: Students Speak Up about their Vision for 21st Century Schools,” which is the latest education technology survey put on by Project Tomorrow. According to the survey. Students are emerging as "free agent learners" which are students who increasingly take learning into their own hands and use technology to create personalized learning experiences.
I think that this article is articulating everything that we have been talking about in class. The survey stresses that using technology in the classroom is becoming increasingly important to students.

The survey noted, "Students, regardless of community demographics, socio-economic backgrounds, gender, and grade, tell us year after year that the lack of sophisticated use of emerging technology tools in school is, in fact, holding back their education—and in many ways disengages them from learning." I feel as though this statement alone expresses everything that I have learned so far in my education classes. In order to close the achievement gap and ensure that our students are succeeding to their highest potential we need to find innovative ways to incorporate technology in the classroom. This semester has really taught me the many ways that I can accomplish this very goal. The report identifies three essential elements of a new emerging student vision for American education. They are:
  • Social-based learning: Students want to leverage emerging communications and collaboration tools to create and personalize networks of experts to inform their education experience.
  • Untethered learning: Students envision technology-enabled learning experiences that transcend the classroom walls and are not limited by resource constraints, traditional funding streams, geography, community assets, or even teacher knowledge or skills.
  • Digitally-rich learning: Students see the use of relevancy-based digital tools, content, and resources as a key to driving learning productivity, and not just about engaging students in learning.
The article also noted "[that] while the three elements offer the potential for remarkably new approaches to teaching and learning in a classroom, students likely will see the use of these emerging technologies as a “natural extension of the way they are currently living and learning outside of that classroom.'"

Overall, I was really impressed with the way that this article truly describe everything that we have been learning in class. I'm really glad that we post all of our stuff online so that we can access these resources and use them in our future classrooms.


liz exo said...

The "unteathered learning" section really stood out to me in this blog post. I think that technology in the classroom in really great for this aspect of learning because it eliminates many limits that we would have had without technology. I kept thinking back to the day in class that we used Panoramio to look at the geography of different countries and found another website that had virtual tours of famous architecture in Europe. I think that tools like this are what allow classroom teachers to go beyond their physical classroom walls and engage students in more interesting lessons about our world.

medwards said...

I agree completely. Right now, our schools are so unequal and some students have so many more opportunities than others. If there was some way to make technology equally accessible in all schools, then we could virtually eliminate that inequality. All students would be able to access the most knowledgeable experts, take the most relevant and rich virtual field trips, and communicate with students across the country, not only to enrich their own learning but to inspire one another. Increasing technology in the classroom is a very noble goal and I find it really encouraging that students are even recognizing that need. However, it is still disheartening to consider how that access to technology will ever be a reality for low-income school districts.