Friday, September 30, 2011

21st Century Learning & Teaching

As this 2011-2012 school year continues in full swing, it is a great opportunity to assess how effectively I am reaching and teaching our 21st Century Learners.  I feel as if I am very prepared for 21st Century teaching and learning.  I several hours every day looking for new resources, tools, and strategies to reach today's 21st Century Learners.  I focus on what tools will not only make the learning process more engaging, but also help make my lessons "teaching that sticks."  I try my best to share my resources and strategies with my colleagues at school, and when time permits, with my colleagues online with my blog.  The process of researching, assessing, sharing, re-assessing is very important to the education process today.

I feel my students leave my classroom everyday with new skills to use and help them function effectively within our school and within our community.  I try to show them resources that are free of charge, yet provide the features needed of high priced software.  I try to integrate tools that are available online so students can work on projects at home and at school.  I also challenge my students to learn and teach one another, even having my students use a Presentation to teach a lesson in class. 

My biggest strengths when it comes to 21st Century Learning is my passion to never settle with the lessons and resources I have, but I am also trying to perfect everything.  Most of my lessons have at least 5 years of manipulating, editing, teaching, re-teaching, before they are ever where I want them.  My core projects are renewed or recreated every year to keep my class activities fresh for my students and myself.  My biggest weaknesses when it comes to 21st Century Learning is my dependence on technology.  My daily lesson plans and objectives are posted on my website for my students.  All of my important bookmarks are saved using social bookmarking sites (delicious and diigo).  My lesson plans, resources, activities, rubrics, and more are not saved on my school computer, but in storage space in the "cloud."  When the Internet goes down, it feels as if I have lost access to everything.  However, at least I keep hard copies of everything in my classroom "bible" if I ever need a quick resource or activity when technology has let me down. 


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