Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Checking the List; Learning and Teaching in the 21st Century!

I read an interesting post tonight on  Cyndi Danner-Kuhn's blog Technology Bits Bytes And Nibbles that gave me pause for a moment.  It was a list of 21 things that indicate you are a 21st century teacher. I was delighted to see I have accomplished many, including:

1. You require your students to use a variety of sources for their research projects…and they cite blogs, podcasts, and interviews they've conducted via Skype.

Just beginning to but... room to grow for sure!  My students blog regularly, and have recently begun to collaborate in pairs and small groups to add to a second Class Blog.  They are beginning to look at other sites for research purposes as we continue with our Heritage Fair projects. (More on that in a later post, for sure!)

3. You give weekly class updates to parents…via your blog.

Been doing that for a couple of years! Parents (and students) have found it informative and interesting. Everything from the annual Principal's PJ Party, our collaborative poetry writing to suggested follow-up activities in Science to homework elaborated and explained with examples for parents and kids.

10. Your classroom budget is tight…but it doesn't matter because 
there are so many free resources on the web you can use.

Wow, where would I be without the Science videos, Math interactive websites, online reading resources such as Scholastic Online News, archived history resources, software such as Microsofts's Photostory 3 or sites like Wordle that allow many open-ended curriculum possibilities!

  11. You realize the importance of professional development…and you read blogs, join online communities, and tweet for self development.  

OH, this is so true!  I am very pulled into this e-learning community, finding many like-minded educators who willingly share their experiences and ideas!  I am inspired by these individuals and am motivated to achieve similar things. I choose to pursue this learning in this way.
 See Vicki Davis @
Shelley Wright @ or Kathy Cassidy @

14. You visit the Louvre with your students…and don’t spend a dime.

Well, we have yet to go to that particular museum but we have certainly been to a few others.  And we have delved into our provincial museum, The Rooms, located three hundred kilometres away to locate all kinds of things, including Newfoundland's significant contribution during WW1.
 21. You tweet this page, blog about it, “like” it, or email it to someone else…

I did! I did! I re-tweeted it and then decided to share it in a more personal way here!
          22. I would add that 21st teachers read/view, write/compose, create, critique, talk and listen with their students! 

I feel one of the most powerful changes in our teaching that has gathered steam as we headed into the 21st century is the sharing of the "front of the classroom" with our students.  More and more young children and our youth are being recognized for their ability to lead us in teaching and learning new concepts and skills by bringing in their experiences and expertise from home.  This significant shift in how our our classrooms may [should] operate underpins so many of the so-called 'new' literacies. 

I'll grant you it's not as quiet nor is it as tidy (you should see my classroom these days) but it is so much more interesting and rewarding!


  1. Wow! Thanks for pointing me to this great list and for including me in your PLN. Nice post and reflections. I need to be doing some more of these things, but I also think that a 21st century teacher refuses to be defined by anyone's list and instead works to define and redefine their own and their students' learning experiences as they evolve, experiment, and enjoy the process!

  2. Thanks, Vicki! In reading various blogs, many of them yours, it is clear that being reflective in one's outlook and practice is essential! As 21st century teachers move to enhance their teaching with what technology offers, it is important to consider each tool, each app, and its usefulness to our goal of helping students be the best they can be. Sometimes a list can be a guide, like a "bucket list" of things you intend to accomplish! Teaching is not, however, something you will ever be able to 'check off' and feel it has been covered. That would definitely take the fun out of it!
    Which point on the list do you feel you would like to revisit?

  3. The part of your post that really resonated with me was "More and more young children and our youth are being recognized for their ability to lead us in teaching and learning new concepts and skills by bringing in their experiences and expertise from home". It really excites me to think of being a co-learner with my students. I don't know of anyone who would say they have 'arrived' at the place they wish to be with this concept, but I love the journey.