21st century learning – a presentation

We heard Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach speak to teachers at a forum yesterday. Her presentation to the teaching staff at the school was about 21st century learning. To get everyone focussed she used the following video, “The Cisco anthem” but a powerful snapshot of what is happening around, and in, the world today. 

Sheryl illustrated how far we have come, and how quickly, in the world of technology, discussing terms Web1.0, Web2.0 (the ReadWrite web) and Web3.0 (immersive worlds (eg.SecondLife), artificial intelligences, etc.) I researched SecondLife, as part of the Web program I took part in, and I thought, that at present, there seems to be many barriers to schools effectively making use of virtual worlds for education, but there are future possibilities. As with many such options, as more people take part in, and improve on, them, this situation will most likely change.  

If schools are to part of preparing students for life in the 21st century, then there needs to be a change in the general approach to learning and teaching. Sheryl questioned the relevance of education today. What is being taught and what is being learnt? The following video has become quite famous, as it portrays what 200 students at Kansas University think.

Sheryl then began talking about students having network literacy, to equip them for a world beyond the industrial age. There have been some who claim that, in 2020, information will double every 72 hours. How will people cope with this? The expansion of the “knowledge world” will mean that education won’t be able to remain linear and information may become obsolete much more quickly. In this world education cannot be about content or memorization of facts alone. Sheryl went on to talk about students having innovative/adaptive expertise, about students who will be self-motivatating, self-educating, self-directed and effective communicators. We were then shown tne video that Darren Draper created and Have you been paying attention?

Have those in education been watching their students communicate with each other? Have they seen how they have been using the technologies in their lives and have they used this knowledge to engage students in their learning? From the experiences related by students in the video “a vision of students today“, probably not a lot of attention has been given to how students live in today’s world. Continue reading