Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Mind Shaped

I attended a virtual keynote session of the Global Education Conference hosted by Charles Fadel, called 21st Century Skills: Learning for Life in our Times. He made a great case for integrating global connectedness in the classroom, and shifting the way we teach from imparting knowledge to inspiring creative and skilled thinkers. At one point in the presentation he displayed part of a quote from Michel de Montaigne, which loosely translated says we should be shaping minds, not filling heads. (At this point in the session I drifted off and started thinking about passing out containers of Play-Doh to my students, having them take out the Play-Doh and look at it side-by-side with the container..."Which of these represents your brain better?"...).

Mr. Fadel discussed our traditional core subjects (Reading, Languages, Arts, Geography, History, Math, Science, & Government) and how we need to incorporate the following 21st Century themes into all disciplines:

  • Global Awareness
  • Financial, Economic, Business, & Entrepreneurial Literacy
  • Civic Literacy
  • Health Literacy
  • Environmental Literacy

He went on to share some research about how students prefer to learn, and that over 50% of students do best learning "in groups". Other high ranking methods of learning were "by doing practical things", "with friends", and "by using computers". Only 19% of students prefer to learn from a teacher, which supports the idea that we as teachers should be facilitating rather than directing or dictating. 

A recording of the session is available here for a deeper look at this issue. A timely and engaging topic, for sure.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Global Education Conference

50 keynote speakers. 300 sessions. 62 countries. And it's free! I'm pretty excited about the upcoming Global Education Conference. It runs from November 15 - 19, and you don't need to register. All the sessions will be archived as well, for later viewing. I just joined Classroom 2.0, a social networking site for educators, and they have partnered with Elluminate to offer this experience to educators. I've never attended an online conference before, and I'm definitely looking forward to it! I'm particularly intrigued by the sessions about geo-caching I saw on the schedule. Pretty neat stuff. I'll post back with what I learn!

Hello and Welcome!!

From one teacher to another ... Welcome to my blog for educators who want to put a little sparkle in their classroom! Together we'll share and discover the constantly evolving ways we can implement strategies like technology integration and multiple intelligence theory, from pre-K all the way through high school.

Our 21st century learners are evolving before our eyes ... We need to engage, equip, and inspire these "digital natives" so they can become lifelong learners.

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you can find and share valuable tips, tricks, and tools here. A 21st century teacher's lounge, if you will. Minus the dirty coffee mugs.