Sunday, May 25, 2014

How to Fake a 21st Century Classroom

I was just browsing the web when I found this wonderful posting by Terry Heick on Teach Thought entitled "10 Ways to Fake a 21st Century Classroom." Terry does a wonderful job of identifying some indicators that are often seen as landmarks for 21st Century Learning. Once they have been listed, he explains how even these activities could be hollow hosts when it comes to actually providing a transformative environment where students are truly engaged in learning.

I am going to list the 10 ways but you will have to go to Terry's posting to see how they are fake.  This way I am not taking credit for something that he has done.

  1. "Do Projects"
  2. Create a class twitter account
  3. Force Collaboration
  4. Video Conference with Strangers
  5. Be Dramatic
  6. Buy iPads
  7. Make Students Blog
  8. Apps on Apps on Apps
  9. Blend, Blend, Blend
  10. Add a column for creativity on every rubric. 
I must admit that I do every one of these. I have students do projects but it is usually to solve problems. All of my classes have twitter hashtags. We work in Collaborative groups. We video conference with experts in the field when it pertains to our topic or we have been following their blogs. I am NEVER dramatic!!!! We are trying to get folks to get ipads. I make students blog but I hope that we are doing it for more than just going through the motions. We use apps. Fortunately we all have access to the resources needed to watch YouTube videos for flipped classrooms. And I have added creativity to my rubric.

Am I faking a 21st Century Classroom?  I hope not.  I believe that my students are involved in the learning process to a level that they are creating and learning materials that are relevant to their real-world classrooms and everyday lives.

What do you think?  Are you faking it?  If so, how and why?  If not, how do you know?

BTW, I just did a search on Terry Heick's postings on TeachThought and he has a number of postings that I have found interesting. You might enjoy them too - Heick's postings.

Please leave comments with your feedback.

4 comments:

  1. Valid point - are the tools being used for the tools sake - the fake it factor OR are they being used to get jobs done? Dr. Z I can say that you for one are indeed using tools in order to get jobs done - the curricular objectives of your courses.

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    1. Thanks for the wonderful compliment, Durff. It IS about using tools for learning rather than just the fun of using tools.

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  2. I suppose you can fake 21st Century learning the same way you can fake your way through good teaching: you might be able to put on a show, but the "proof" should be in the pudding of what the students can actually do and how well they are demonstrating knowledge / understanding through their assessments. THAT, you cannot fake.

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  3. You make a good point, Celeste. Don't know that you can fake "good teaching." As you say, the proof is in the pudding. I look forward to your future comments as well.

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