Tag: 21st century

Ten big questions for education

I need your input and help. It’s for a good cause. I’m a firm believer that educational innovation is a bottom-up process. Could you help me (and others) prove that?

I’ll try and keep this as brief as possible if you promise to do the background reading and try to contribute in some way. :-p

Introduction

EduCon 2.0 is both a conversation and a conference.
And it is not a technology conference. It is an education conference. It is, hopefully, an innovation conference where we can come together, both in person and virtually, to discuss the future of schools. Every session will be an opportunity to discuss and debate ideas — from the very practical to the big dreams.

This year’s was 29th-31st of January at the Science Leadership Academy, Philadelphia, USA (which is why I wasn’t there).

Background Reading

Will Richardson blogged about what happened at Educon and the next steps required to turn conversations into action:

Results

Will crowdsourced 10 questions that educators need to answer effectively:

  1. What is the purpose of school?
  2. What is the changing role of the teacher, and how do we support that new role?
  3. How do we help students discover their passions?
  4. What is the essential learning that schools impart to students?
  5. How do we adapt our curriculum to the technologies that kids are already using?
  6. What does an educated person look like today?
  7. How do we change policy to support more flexible time and place learning?
  8. What are the essential practices of teachers in a system where students are learning outside of school?
  9. How do we ensure those without privilege have equal access to quality education and opportunity?
  10. How do we evaluate and validate the informal, self-directed learning that happens outside of school?

Actions

The next step was the creation of a wiki – 10fored.wikispaces.com. This is a place to continue the conversation and provide tangible results. Taking a step back but keeping an overview, Will has asked for volunteer moderators for each of the questions.

I volunteered for Question #6: What does an educated person look like today? I’m interested in how it relates to my thesis, the original title of which was ‘What does it mean to be ‘educated’ and ‘digitally literate’ in the 21st century’.

Help me out. Send a tweet to @dajbelshaw with the #10fored hashtag with some ideas. Or, better yet, add your thoughts to the wiki page!

Thanks in advance! 😀

(image CC BY CarbonNYC)

Why ‘digital literacy’ is central to 21st century education.

ChangeThis is a website dedicated to manifestos written by anyone (but usually professionals and experts) about something they feel passionately about changing. There are some really great ones – for example Hugh MacLeod on How To Be Creative and Guy Kawasaki’s The Art of the Start. I’ve just had a proposal accepted entitled, Why ‘digital literacy’ is central to 21st century education. I’d like you to vote for the proposal so I can write the full manifesto, please! :-p

Here’s the summary I added to the site:

Society is in flux. The global economy is in meltdown. Education is in turmoil. Why? The world has, and is, changing faster than we can keep up. One of the reasons for this disconnect is our insistence on teaching our young people in the same way that we ourselves learned. We’re teaching as if there were a dearth of resources, when actually we’re spoiled for choice.

‘Digital literacy’ is a term much debated, but which allows us to grasp hold of an important concept. Literacy in the digital arena just isn’t the same as it is when sitting at a desk with paper and pencil. But how is it different? And what can we do about it?

Allow me to suggest some ways in which we can come up with a workable definition for ‘digital literacy’ and show you methods by which we can educate our young people for the blended digital/physical world they do, and shall, inhabit!

Writing the manifesto will give a focus to my thesis-writing over the next few weeks and will hopefully be something you can point people towards to explain the importance of moving to 21st century skills and learning! 😀

Please vote.

My Ed.D. thesis proposal: What does it mean to be ‘digitally literate’?

I submitted the second version of my Ed.D. thesis proposal a while back now. I had to re-submit as I failed the first submission. This was a bit of a shock to the system, never having failed anything academically before. It was actually partly my supervisor’s fault – who has now left the University of Durham and doesn’t have a doctorate himself… :p

I was advised to wait until I had the marks back for the thesis proposal before posting it on my blog. Upon reflection, I could see this was a sensible thing to do, so now I’ve heard back and I’ve passed I’m going to post it in its entirity. I received 63% for the following, which isn’t disastrous but less than I would have hoped for. Because it’s my second submission, however, the mark that’s recorded is 50%. At the end of the day, I’m not overly concerned: my Ed.D. overall is pass/fail… 🙂

The comments on the following were:

This is a solid proposal which provides a detailed reflection of the relevant literature in which the proposed study is to be grounded. Although covered in less detail than the literature section, the proposal provides an appropriate methodological base for the research. The proposal suggests a cross-cultural component and it is important in this context that similarities as well as ‘discrepancies’ are identified and that the study does not become unmanageable. In general this is a good solid proposal.

(emphasis mine)

The proposal itself follows after the ‘tag’ cloud that is indicative of its contents (courtesy of TweetClouds)

Read more →

21st Century Literacy

Information Literacy?

Dave Warlick has blogged about his latest podcast in which he cites this definition of 21st century literacy:

Literacy in the 21st century includes all skills involved in learning to learn, learning to build with what you’ve learned, and to express compelling what you have built, utilizing all modalities of sense and expression, within today’s rich information landscape.

So, that’s just a posh way of saying that learners need to be more reflective and communicate their thoughts in ways that aren’t exclusively tied to writing with pen-and-paper, yes? 😉

Resources r.e. Dan Pink & ‘A Whole New Mind’

A Whole New Mind

Although it seems to have no posts after March 2006, the PSD Pink Study blog seems to be worth investigating, if only for the links it provides to various places where work surrounding that of Dan Pink, author of A Whole New Mind, can be found.

Some links to follow up:

21st Century Skills: not just about ICT

Many educators who I talk to seem to be of the opinion that the only way the world is changing is that more ‘technology’ is being used. And that is usually conceived of as a passing fad, a bad thing, or something which will be forced upon them.

Computer chip?

However, I believe that the use of ICTs is actually just a subset of a wider change that is happening at the beginning of the 21st century. Knowledge, or at least our conception of it, or at least the conception of it by people that have influence, is changing. It is no longer something that resides in the heads of the great and the good, but something that is distributive. Knowledge, to use a metaphor, is not the nodes on the network, but the connections between those nodes. Wisdom comes through having a meta-view of the network and understanding how the nodes can and do interact.

A podcast to follow up on: Podcast 39 – The Vocabulary of 21st Century Learning by Wes Fryer

Some great quotations about education in the 21st century (and in general)

I came across this site, which has lots and lots of great quotations to do with education. Here are some of my favourite and those that should be relevant to my thesis!

‘We need a metamorphosis of education – from the cocoon a butterfly should emerge. Improvement does not give us a butterfly only a faster caterpillar.’ (www.learningtolearn.sa.edu.au)

‘The world by and large has to be reinvented.’ (Charles Handy, Beyond Certainty)

‘How has the world of the child changed in the last 150 years?’ … the answer is. ‘It’s hard to imagine any way in which it hasn’t changed….they’re immersed in all kinds of stuff that was unheard of 150years ago, and yet if you look at schools today versus 100 years ago, they are more similar than dissimilar.’ (Peter Senge)

‘The map is not the territory.’ (Alfred Korzybski)

‘Some people think you are strong when you hold on. Others think it is when you let go.’ (Sylvia Robinson)

‘You can’t jump a chasm in two bounds.’ (Chinese saying)

‘If a torrent sweeps a man against a boulder, you must expect him to scream, and you need not be surprised if the scream is sometimes a new theory.’ (R.L. Stevenson)

‘It is our belief that schools in the main are entering the twenty-first century with structures and more importantly, underlying assumptions which are nineteenth century in origins, or relating to the world of the 1950 or 1960s.’ (C. Bowring-Carr & J. Burnham West)

‘I have a feeling we are not in Kansas anymore.’ (Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz)

‘Remember a dead fish can float downstream but it takes a live one to swim upstream.’ (W.C. Fields)

‘Do not confine your children to your own learning for they were born in another time.’ (Hebrew Proverb)

‘To be a teacher you must be a prophet – because you are trying to prepare people for a world thirty to fifty years into the future.’ (Gordon Brown, MIT)

‘There is something about the Procrustean bed about schools; some children are left disabled by being hacked about to fit the curriculum; some are stretched to take up the available space, others less malleable are labeled as having special educational needs.’ (C. Bowring-Carr and J. Burnham West)

‘What we want to see the child in pursuit of knowledge, and not knowledge in pursuit of the child.’ (G.B. Shaw)

‘We must not entrust the future of our children to habit.’ (Judy Yero)

‘The curriculum is to be thought of in terms activity and experience rather than knowledge to be acquired and facts to be stored.’ (Haddow Report UK 1931)

‘Destiny is not a matter of chance it is a matter of choice.’ (Anon.)

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