Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Problems Facing the 21st Century Classroom

In groups we attempted to develop a plan of expectations of what we see the 21st Century Classroom being for ourselves as teachers and for our students. There were two major points that my group determined would be an essential and influential part of our futures in the teaching world. Before, discussing them, I would like to point out that I found it very interesting what a conservative and almost sadly realistic approach we took to this proposition. While many of the other groups discussed all of the great technology that they would have we discussed two main things: greater communication with parents and the student at home and how to use experiential learning approaches.
Through many of the new technologies we have discussed in class, aka Twitter, wikispaces, blogger, today's meet, etc., we realized how easy it is now to meet with and stay in contact with the home lives and parents of our students. We would be able to update the parents on classwork, homework, and just generally get them involved in our classroom activities by providing a venue for them to reach us, other than the once a semester parent-teacher conference. This would also help to prevent having those other meetings, you know, the meetings about the student being a problem not the meeting about how to help prevent the problem because the meeting has come too late. This increased ease of communication would also help students be able to have resources to take their learning home and really get their family involved with it. One of the biggest concerns that I have, is the fact that some students may be more technologically intelligent than their parents and thus would cause issues with their parents being able to feel involved or understand how to be involved. I guess it is just something to be prepared for.
The other topic we discussed was incorporating experiential learning opportunities into our classroom. I feel this idea is largely because we are also taking a class called Baltimore as your Classroom, which is all about getting us acclimated to Baltimore as a city and Baltimore as an invaluable resource. I hope that I will be able to learn more about how to get my classes into the city, even for just simple things that many people take for granted, like the library system. I think I need to start looking at things that seem so easy and conventional, questioning them, and asking are they really so easy? Or do they just seem easy to me? I think this may be where many gems are hidden.

-Response to JHUSMED Class 2

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