Thursday, September 14, 2006

Vignettes of opening a new year

Vignettes of opening a new year… first installment
I have been out of the loop but in the fray…

Telling the story started with a discussion of what it means to “educate for the 21st century”. I invited a guest speaker to our opening in-service – via the MIT lecture series we had a visit from Thomas Friedman. Our world has changed and so must we…
Borrowing and remixing from the many prolific story tellers key components of the story include: the exponential growth of the web in the last 15 years, the rapid changes in knowledge and the outdating of information, the changing face of commerce and its effect on the job market.

The other part of the story is exploration of how our students are different because of their status as digital natives. Most significant are the fact that choices are integral to all they do because of the access technology create to music, friends and information. The next is the recognition that technology is transparent for them. It is just the way they do other things. This is important because it is not a curriculum item for them (even though it might be for many of us) For them it is simply a way of doing whatever it is that needs doing from talking to friends to finding information.

What does all this mean for our students? Changing the way we think about learning and the way we teach

Recognizing their inherent skill sets and building on their intelligences---Hmmm Perhaps an important missing piece needs to be added to Gardner's Multiple intelligences- digital intelligence ---

Recognizing the skills they will need for the future job market-
The ability to access, evaluate information and to use it to solve problems and create knew knowledge
The ability to use technology in a ethical and responsible manner
The ability to communicate in a global market place which includes the need to respect and appreciate a variety of cultures

Next post will talk about what we are doing now that we have discussed the story.


1 comment:

TheBizofKnowledge said...

I think you're absolutely right about recognizing the job skills that today's students will need for their futures. I think it's silly for schools not to modify their current course offerings to reflect what's going on with technology these days.