Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Partnership for 21st Century Skills

In the article, "The New Literacies", Miners and Pascopella first ask, "Students are immersed in 21st century “new literacy” technologies, but are schools preparing them for the future?" (2007). This question should make educators think. When I think about this, the first thing that comes to mind is how my students use my Promethean Board to aid in their learning. What I have found at times, is that students will look as though they understand the content while I have their attention on the board, however, when I give it to them on paper they are unable to perform. Is it wrong for me to teach using my Promethean Board? I do not think so, but I must be able to show them how to transfer what they are learning in a technology situation, to paper. In the education world students and teachers are searching for better ways to understand and/or teach material and skills. Using technology is a great way to do this, but their should definitely be a balance between the two.

The Partnership for 21st Century Skills website discusses what skills students should possess for the 21st century, by providing a framework for teaching these skills, so that they will be prepared for the workplace. The diagram on the website shows the balance between these skills and the importance of each. It is evident that core subjects are still very important in the education world. This model puts a high importance on life and career skills, and information, media, and technology skills are included, which is appealing to me. Right now, this is not happening at our school. I feel like we are unfortunately leaving out life and career skills to focus more on standards and assessments. Although we do need these things, I think we should also be required to teach students skills that our students will use the rest of their lives. How to communicate with others, how to work in a group with people of different backgrounds, etc., and how to use a computer are just a few skills of the many that we should also be teaching. I am excited about what this could mean for my students and all the information it provides for educators.

I am most surprised by the life and career skills being a part of the model for 21st century learning. It was my assumption from my personal experience that those skills were the missing link to making our students successful. It is comforting to know that that is not the case. I agree completely with the framework for the skills to be taught. I have learned from this site that I need to be a more creative teacher. Although the standards are increasing in number and in depth, I think it is important for educators to continue to be creative and make learning fun. Paper and pencil cannot guide my instruction; instead technology and other creative strategies should be my priority in order to get the skills to my students. Whether that is in a group project, or independently using a blog, students should have those opportunities. The support that this model offers could quite possibly change our students and their dispositions dramatically. This is what I need as an educator.


(2004). The partnership for 21st century skills. Retrieved from

Miners, Z., & Pascopella, A. (2007). The new literacies. District Administration, 43(10), 26–34.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

How to use Blogs in the Classroom

In reading Will Richardson's book, Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms, "Blogs engage readers with ideas and questions and links. They ask readers to think and to respond. They demand interaction." (Richardson, 2009, p.18). This is a great time for others to respond with their own experiences. I think my students could do just that in a classroom blog.

I teach fourth grade reading and language arts. My goal for my students is to become better readers and writers. Being new to the blog world, I am seeing the benefits for not only myself, but my students as well. There are several ways I would like to use blogs in my classroom. First of all, I think it would be great for discussions. My fourth graders love being on the computer. We have stations, which allow the students to go from one activity to the next with a small group. Computers are one station. I could use a blog to discuss content with them. This would allow them to connect with the material while using a blog as the vehicle to produce their work. Another use would be for publishing their work. Unfortunately some of their handwriting is not the best, therefore using the computer to type their paper would help others to read it, as well as publish their work for responses. These responses could possibly be reviewed by their peers, which would help with editing skills.

I think that blogs would be great for my students and would enhance my lessons. I could definitely use them in many ways. My purpose and goal for them would be to know and understand the skills before them, while becoming better readers and writers in the process.

The role of technology in society is endless. It continues to improve. In a video that I recently watched, "Technology's Influence" we see these changes and how they take place. We are taking new things in technology and integrating them into our routines. Once the technology is there we have new ways to do things. That being said, why not use these things in education. The effects of technology could mean huge gains for students that may not learn those skills otherwise. This is why I feel so strongly about incorporating new technology, such as blogs, into my teaching routine.


Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2008). Understanding the Impact of Technology on Education, Work, and Society [Motion picture]. Teacher as professional. Baltimore.

Richardson, W. (2009). Blogs, wiks, podcasts, and other powerful web tools for classrooms (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Technology Integration

I am currently working on my master's through Walden University. My program is Integrating Technology in the Classroom. I am really excited to get started in taking technology classes. I am definitely not an expert when it comes to technology, however I am very interested in technology and I am excited to see how this will help my students.