Friday, September 24, 2010

21st Century Classroom?

We are living in the 21st century, but are our classrooms "living" in it with us? Many things are going on out on the internet that we should be embracing, but many schools are doing just the opposite and blocking everything from the students. Dr. Z Reflects and Angela Maiers Educational Services blogs discuss these issues, but from opposite perspectives.

Dr. Z Reflects had a posting about a school who got rid of internet filters. They are now allowing students to take responsibility in what they are doing. They also are allowing them to be open to the 21st century world around them while they are preparing themselves to enter it after graduation. This is all taking place in a Wisconsin, which is not very far from us.

On the oposite end, Angela Maiers Educational Services had a video on hers that discussed this same topic, but the video was based on a middle school principal who is completely against these 21st century tools, but in the video he is discussing Facebook. He believes that parents should ban their kids from it because of cyber bullying issues. Even though he is working to prevent the cyber bullying from occurring, he is going about it in the wrong way. The person who created this video, which is also on youtube, had some text to go along with it which really made sense. If we are going to ban our kids from Facebook because of cyber bullying, why don't we ban them from recess, and the lunch room. That is where a lot of bullying occurs. We don't do this, though and it is not realistic. Neither is banning them from Facebook. Teaching students how these tools should be used and about bullying in general are topics that should just be discussed. Schools should have motivational speakers come for assemblies and bullying should be discussed in the classroom itself. Teaching isn't all about content, but teaching students to be respectful citizens and human beings as well.

I think that some teachers don't view their students as being capable to make decisions. If we gard them and shelter them from the world around us, then we are not doing any good for them. We need to open them up to the world around them and teach them about being responsible in using the tools. These blogs really got me thinking about these issues as well as other items they dicussed. I especially like how these two had relatable topics and yet they were different. I have been viewing others, but these two seemed to have information that jumped right out at me. I am looking for to continuing my blogging experience and learning more about educational technologies!