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Because I’ve got one already…

We’ve been given a world that has been messed up by previous generations. And we’ll be passing it on after we use most of the non-renewable resources … after we pollute habitat that can’t be replaced. It’s true that we get knowledge and technology from previous generations, but what good is it if the earth is an inhospitable place?

Let’s see, we’ve inherited:

  • An unsustainable economy based on depleting our resources as fast as possible. But who cares, right?! It’s all about the bottom line.
  • Global warming and loss of biodiversity. Soon we’ll have nothing on earth except cockroaches and rats. Bon Appétit!

If you don’t know what I’m talking about then have a chat with David Suzuki. It would be nice if every generation got their own world, but oh well… we have to deal with it.

But every cloud has a silver lining:

These problems mean there are opportunities for 21st century learners to shine. 21st century learners are people who are required to excel at critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and problem solving.  These are people who are being prepared for jobs that don’t exist today. 21st century learners are being educated through student-centered instruction; they are given real problems and are required to collaborate with colleagues to solve them.

A perfect example is the live broadcasting program at Sir Wilfrid Laurier SS where students are responsible for broadcasting the morning announcements. The twist is that every classroom has a T.V. and so the students have to do these announcements using live video. The students navigate a fully furnished T.V. studio (with cameras, teleprompters etc.) and work together in groups of around 10, all doing vital but distinct jobs.

These 21st century learners will hopefully help us solve the problems that the previous generations couldn’t solve. One thing is for sure, our political discourse might be a lot less juvenile if the people in power can communicate, collaborate, problem solve effectively and apply critical thinking skills. 

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Do you remember when you were in school? If you don’t, then let me refresh your memory.  You sat in an uncomfortable seat and pretended you were paying attention to your teacher. Your teacher was the centre of the universe; he or she wanted complete silence so that their distilled wisdom could be poured into your little brain.

You weren’t learning a whole lot! In fact your brain was fried by the end of the lesson. Have things changed? Yes! Well sort of … but there’s hope! A revolution has been taking place inside the schools and the forces of good are fighting to save these kids. Some teachers have taken it upon themselves to make their lessons more interesting. They are using 21st century technology to enhance student learning by making lessons more fun and interactive.

I try to wow my students with technology; to give them something new to see and use. Hopefully, that sparks additional interest in the topic at hand. John Tiffany told Education World

When technology is used in the classroom, the result is that students become active contributors rather than passive receivers.  The technology allows students to manipulate information and this “hands-on” work is very effective. Why does it work better than the traditional way you ask? Well it’s less boring for one… but it also applies Bloom’s Taxonomy. I’ll spare you the science, just understand that research has shown that students learn the most when they’re analyzing, evaluating and creating information. Listening to the teacher and just remembering facts is ineffective (hence at the bottom of the pyramid).

The Holdrege School Board in Nebraska is a typical example of this technological revolution. All students have their own laptops and can access the teacher’s power point slides. They join an online forum to discuss the lesson and are asked to answer questions on the forums. They can’t see anyone else’s answers until they post theirs, so they must apply critical thinking skills. The teacher is also able to track the progress of all students and make student specific comments to help students along.

Isn’t it wonderful?

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Parents want to know what their kids are doing so blogging can be a way to communicate with parents. It’s a great way to let them know what was done, what homework has been assigned, what assignments are due (and when), and the dates of the tests.

Here’s a screenshot of a chemistry website that I made for my practicum class (Grade 11 chemistry). The information would have been better presented on a blog. But at least everything that was done in class was available for both students and parents.

…education is “incredibly backwards, and has huge potential for change.” He cited a disruptive trend of teachers integrating technology from everyday life into their classrooms voluntarily, rather than technology integration being mandated top-down by administrators. As tablet devices become pervasive, teachers are embracing apps as learning tools, with iPads leading the way in the U.S., and Android tablets taking hold in third world countries such as Brazil and India.

This is a quote from an interesting article that I found – read it on techcrunch.com.

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Some person’s house

Driving directions to 219 Boulevard des Trembles, Hull, QC J9A 1Z9

From: University of Ottawa
550 Cumberland St
Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5

1. Head northeast on Thomas More Private toward King Edward Ave/Ottawa Road 99 (85 m)
2. Take the 1st right onto King Edward Ave/Ottawa Road 99 (600 m)
3. Turn right onto Greenfield Ave/Mann Ave/Ottawa Road 64 (200 m)
4. Turn left to merge onto ON-417 W (5.9 km)
5. Take exit 123 for Island Park Drive toward Promenade (300 m)
6. Merge onto Island Park Dr (3.0 km)
7. Continue onto Place Samuel de Champlain/Pont Champlain
Continue to follow Place Samuel de Champlain
Entering QC (800 m)
8. Turn right onto Chemin d’Aylmer (550 m)
9. Turn left onto Boulevard Saint-Raymond (1.0 km)
10. Turn left onto Boulevard des Trembles
Destination will be on the left (950 m)

To: 219 Boulevard des Trembles
Hull, QC J9A 1Z9

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Lake Ontario

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Chateau Lake Louise

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Bonjour

This is the first post on my first education related blog. I’d like to welcome you to a blog that will confuse you, blow your mind, and then reform your brain. You will be remade into an educated citizen of the world.

Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated.

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