Friday, March 30, 2012
Angela Maiers is a proponent of the 21st Century Classroom. She's been an educator for 20 years, and uses social networking sites and blogging to help her educate her students on modern life skills. She also founded and is President of the Maiers Education Services based in Clive, Iowa. This service is for schools who wish to implement technology in their classroom - so as you can see, she's serious about this!
In her post, she advocates modernizing the classroom by utilizing computers as a medium of information exchange instead of books. In doing so, she hopes to create a more engaging, effective teaching method for the modern student than more archaic, 'lecture me, test me' lesson models.
By moving towards a computerized method of information sharing, she hopes to one day utilize customized open content that's already available online. In doing so, educators can use resources that are precisely as in-depth as they require to impart more knowledge than an unchanging, potentially outdated book ever could.
The sentiment of many on this subject, however, is budget issues. In recent memory, teaching staff and extracurricular activities have been cut to keep schools afloat. However, I feel that the cost-benefit of supplying students with computers, and being able to utilize free (or inexpensive) content on the web will, in the long run, be better than supplying textbooks to students - as well as the benefit of being a better learning tool.
Becoming Change Makers - the Q'enqo Library Project
In her post, Angela talks about Grade 3 students' blog, and how they've connected with people in Q'enqo, Peru to help them build schools and improve their quality of life through fund-raising at their school in Calgary, Canada.
The students all share the same sentiment - they're excited about being able to help others and record their progress on their blogs.
It's amazing to think that students in 3rd grade are already becoming networked and plugged in to the world around them. This bodes well for the future state of education - where pioneering teachers are breaking new ground and introducing cutting edge techniques to better their students' education and lives. Looking at this school (and others in which I've followed and commented upon), it's plain to see that this process of change is not a fast one. However, as long as more and more teachers embrace modernity, sooner rather than later will global education change in order to provide a better, more enriching experience for students.