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Readings and Reflection

This weeks required reading is Ian Jukes' "Understanding Digital Kids II." This article is a continuation last weeks readings, "Understanding Digital Kids." Jukes explains that "Understanding Digital Kids II" begins where "Understanding Digital Kids I" ends. Throughout the article Jukes discusses new research about the Net Generation's brains, implication of this new digital landscape for teaching, learning and assessment, and strategies that teachers can use to appeal to the learning preferences of the digital learner. Jukes outlines seven major changes for educators and education that will prepare them for the 21st century student.
1.It's Time for Educators and Education to Catch Up
- Incorporate technological tools and resources in your classroom
2. Teachers Must Teach to the Whole Mind
- Teach for different learning styles
3. Educators Need to Shift their Instructional Approach
- Less telling more doing
4. We Need to Let Students Access Information Natively
- Don't miss out on new technologies that could be used in the classroom
5. We Must Let Students Collaborate
- Allow group work and cooperation
6. We Need to Let Students Create Real World Digital Products
- Working process is as important as final project
7. We Must Re-evaluate Assessment and Evaluation
- Create tests and assessment that requires more than memorization, test understanding
Jukes finishes his discussion by discussing ways to bridge the digital divide between generations. He explains that there is a lot of work to be done however, we must not revert to the status quo. Incorporating technological resources in the classroom will help engage students while creating a 21st century education environment.


New Software and How To Use It

This week we had a guest speaker, Richard Grignon presented us with several digital tools that could be useful in the 21st century classroom. Richard introduced us to Student Response Systems also known as SRS. These devices look like a small remote control. Each student gets a remote or clicker which can be used to for several purposes such as taking attendance to participating in a test. Student Response Systems allow for full participation from students without disclosing their answer to the entire class. They can also make marking a lot easier for teachers. Take a look at the video to the right to learn more about Student Response Systems and see them in action.


Finally, Richard introduced us to the world of Google. Google has become much more than just a search engine. Google Apps allows anyone with an email address to create a site, and use it's Google Docs application. The sites application is comparable to a wiki and allows teachers or students to create their very own "site". The Docs application has several uses. The user can create a word document, presentation, form, or spreadsheet. They can then share their work with colleagues, students, classmates or anyone with an account. In terms of the classroom, Google Docs is a valuable tool. Students can collaborate on presentations from their own homes. Teachers can use it to communicate with parents, students and colleagues. Take a look at the video on the left to see what teachers and principals have to say about Google Docs or check it out for yourself by clicking this link Google Docs.


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Royalty Free from Getty Images

This week I have learned...

1. That there are many new technologies that can be used in the 21st century classroom to keep today's students engaged.
2. How to incorporate Student Response Systems into my classroom.
3. How to use Google Docs as a resource for students, teachers, and parents.