Using technology to prepare my students for life

Technology for learningImage

This is a picture of a pie with steam, made by my 8yr old using peanut butter play dough as a medium….. what a work of art.  I open with this picture because it was her idea to bend the piece of plastic that it was on to show the steam instead of holding the steam pieces up.  I thought it was a creative idea; she’s early in her educational career, so according to Ken Robinson we haven’t drained the creativity from her yet.

According to the Partnership for 21st Century Skills our students need to develop specific life and career skills in order to compete globally.  Students need to be able to adapt to change, be flexible, show initiative and self direction.  Students need to be able to communicate effectively with others by exhibiting social and cross cultural skills.  Students also need to be able to manage projects and take accountability.   Finally, students need to learn to assume leadership and responsibility.  I believe that the use of technology is an effective way for students to begin to use those 21st century skills that will move our students from the industrial age, when a lot of our schools were developed and even built into the “technology age”.

Students who are engaged in learning will be able to internalize the concepts presented to them.  Students who incorporate the devices such as smart phones, tablets, PC’s and software/apps available to them will engage with the content and be able to ask questions that will help their basic understanding or further it.  I teach chemistry, there are some students who choose to be in the class, but the average student is taking the class because they need to, it is some requirement for them.  I feel that the student’s and teacher’s use of technology will help them engage with the material.  Many science students that come into my classroom have not engaged in science or math, so they automatically have a dislike of the subject.  New computer applications that help students get real-time answers to their questions, see visualizations and collaborate with others will create opportunities for students to succeed and develop those 21st century skills which are necessary for students.

References:

Partnership for 21st Century skills.  Retrieved from:  http://www.p21.org/overview/skills-framework/266, on 9/8/2013

Shelly, G., Gunter, G., Gunter, E., (2012). Teachers discovering computers: Integrated technology in a connected world. Boston, Cengage Learning.

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