Tuesday, March 31, 2009

21st Century Learner

Up until 5 minutes ago, I didn't realize how my students feel at times ... overwhelmed, freaked-out, and not sure where to even start. I knew the role of the learner had changed, and I knew that my role as a teacher had changed as a result. I felt like I had taken steps towards helping my students to become 21st century learners, but yikes, I haven't even learned to get up on my knees and start scooting yet.

In the last few years my learning style has changed a lot. I am much more reliant on technology for my learning and less reliant on just a book or a professor. I noticed this in grad school, when I found it necessary to start digging more into the classes rather than being taught by my prof. Too many of my classes were centered on learning that the district had undertaken about 5 years ago, so I wasn't feeling challenged. While some weeks this was nice, especially when I had a lot of essays to grade, other weeks it was frustrating and boring. In order to stave off the boredom and questioning of why I was spending my money ... ahhhh yes, the pay raise--so nice ... I found that I began doing more learning online. In addition, nearly all of my resources from my thesis was acquired using technology. Lastly, I also have turned more to blogs by other English teachers to see what others are doing to make it more interesting for students.

However, now I see it is just the tip of the iceberg, if that. I have always told students that they can't take me to college with them (although I suppose via email or blog, they can now), so they need to use the resources I am giving them. Those resources have changed, and it boggles how much. I am not even sure where to begin to give them the tools they need. It is definately a case of, "I don't even know what I don't know".

1 comment:

  1. I just saw a news bulletin that many people are dropping twitter after using it for just one month. It has all the earmarks of another 8-track player craze. Sounds cool, totally exciting, but does it have staying power. I remember when the district went crazy and wanted every teacher to learn hyperstudio and Front Page. Well, I know them. I also know how to program in html. I never use them. I am concerned when people jump on every band wagon. I view 21st technology as just that technology. It is a tool I can use and implement. It does not replace me. All of this interconnected knowledge still boils down to gather the knowledge from other people. It does not eliminate the human factor. The only thing that has altered is the methodolgy needed to gather the information. Instead of using books, I use the web. Instead of letters, I use e-mail. Instead of sitting ina classroom, I take on-line courses. The delivery system may have changed. However, the responsibility of the learner has not really altered.