Saturday, January 19, 2013

Making the Case for 21st Century Learning in 2013

Lydia Dobyns, President of New Tech Network, recently stated  in a Huff Post Education article,  that phrases like 21st century classroom or 21st century skills are empty phraseology designed to sound like we are preparing for the future when we are already living in that future.  Interestingly, the rest of her article actually makes the case for using such phraseology.
Today’s education system does not reflect the innovative gains in technology and social media made in recent years.  Our school system is still based on the late 19th century Industrial Age model of schooling used to prepare students for factory work.  It is not preparing students for the reality of our 21st century economy. Heck, we are still using the agrarian calendar to determine a school year.  Honestly, her suggestion to use phrases like “deeper learning” does not convey the irony of wanting 21st century learning in the year 2013.
It is true that tech giants like Google do not need to tout that they are 21st century companies because they are too busy being 21st century companies.  Our schools can’t make that same statement.  We need to use terms like 21st century learning to differentiate  what is happening in schools from what should be happening in schools.
Ms. Dobyns may not like phrases like 21st century learning, but she is a strong advocate for it.  She insists that school districts must change from delivering education that inhibits innovation to ones that encourages it. Accordingly, it is time to move on and develop education systems that meet students where they live and are relevant.
Official Coach Lerning Academies agree.  Students should not walk into a classroom that represents a step back from the connected world that they live in. Our concept of 21st century learning is blending online gamified story lines that motivates and guide students through problem-solving and projected-based mastery of knowledge and skills at academies with flexible hours.
Our students seek knowledge in their 24×7 connected world all the time.  The help they need is in relating their natural curiosity to skills and knowledge needed in a 21st century economy.  You see, there isn’t anything wrong in schooling students to be prepared workers for the economy – it just has to be for the century that they live in.  That is why we use the phrase 21st century learning.
We will continue to explore the uniqueness of Official Coach Lerning Academies in future posts.  Thank you for visiting.  To learn more about Official Coach Lerning Academies please visit their  Twitter and Facebook.

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