The process of finding information and creating new knowledge involves key skills that are important for all learners. In the 21st century, the amount of information that our students must process has grown exponentially, and will continue to grow. This is one area where we need to build capacity with our educators.
In the 21st century there are still many educators, and and schools overall, that are in need of information-processing tech skills. This does not mean that they have lesser pedagogies or practices. However, There are real consequences when teachers who are not comfortable with tech, simply abandon good pedagogy and good tried and true practices, to integrate technology. Further, there are educators who do not appreciate the way that PD is mandated, and the strategies with which they have traditionally been presented.
But. We have a growing issue here. At the forefront of our imaginations, we need to figure out how we are going to effectively teach students to navigate information in new ways, and create new knowledges in a hyperlinked world.
It’s not just about teaching the curriculum all by itself anymore, because that curriculum can now be linked out both locally, and globally.
Curriculum expectations do not exist within specific subject areas, yet are hyperlinked with information all over the world, and throughout all subject areas. More important than anything, I believe, is the ability for all learners to navigate information critically in our hyperlinked world.
I propose that schools need to come up with clear plans to help with this reality of the 21st century. A plan that includes input from all stakeholders, and a plan that reinforces the use of our Librarians, that promote the school-wide goals of teaching students all steps of the research process.
One way to begin, for schools who have traditionally avoided technology integration, could include the school wide goal of curating information for a particular subject or topic in every grade.
Beginning solely with content curation strategies, educators new to information processing with technology, can begin the journey by having learners curating valuable information for their own purposes with platforms such as a classroom Pinterest boards, or Scoop.it. There are many other platforms as well.
The opportunities that can evolve and branch out from this process can include:
new research assignments,
reflection and critical thinking opportunities,
sharing and collaboration with others,
a sense of pride for educators, and learners, and of course,
opening up opportunities to use new technologies.
It is important to try new strategies to involve everyone in meaningful ways.
What strategies have worked for you?
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