Monday, January 12, 2009

21st Century Thinking-My Blog Visits

I love when Jen Robinson shares her daily visits on her blog. She gives us so many great links and we get a little window into her thinking about literacy. I thought I would begin to do the same type of thing with my 21st Century Thinking--posting about my current thinking and linking to some great posts that helped my thinking each week-- or whenever I seem to be finding lots of good stuff around the topic.

If you don't know the work of Michael Wesch, his video "A Vision of Students Today" was one of the first that got me thinking that this was something I needed to think about! This week, I found his post entitled, From Knowledgeable to Knowledge-able: Learning in New Media Environments at Academic Commons. My favorite line from this article "Nothing good will come of these technologies if we do not first confront the crisis of significance and bring relevance back into education."

I have found it interesting lately that the technology piece seems to be growing critical at a time when our schools are focusing more and more on testing and skills. So much bigger than technology is the issue of significance and relevance in our schools. But, my thinking is these new tools can encourage us to think harder about significance.

On another topic, there has been a lot of talk about blogging on the blogs this week. Is it already an outdated thing? Will people stop blogging soon? This article by Will Richardson addressed the issue of why blogging is still hard. He says, "Blogging isn’t about what I know as much as it’s about what I think I know, and I find that to be a crucial distinction. For me, it’s the distinction that constantly makes this hard. It’s also the distinction, however, that makes blogging worth it."

I agree and hope that blogging stays around for a while. For me, it is a way to make sense of my own thinking about books and teaching and it has also been a way for me to expand my network and learn from and with others.

Doug Noon at Borderland writes about What We Measure. This post addresses several of the things that have been concerning me lately--especially those dealing with testing and literacy. If we only teach what is easily measured, we are in huge trouble. When you look at those skills needed for 21st Century learning, the problem gets even bigger.

Chris Lehman "Motivation, Motivation, Motivation", Chris Lehman writes about motivation and the ways so many schools are running these days. He says, "If we want to move away from Theory X, we have to offer a different vision of our schools. We have to create a vision of schooling that does not assume that accountability trumps responsibility."

This may be one of my favorite posts of the week. For me, I loved seeing this profile of Rachel, all of the ways that this 5 year old is making sense of her world--using the tools that she needs. From a dad who can see all that she is capable of and who celebrates her many literacies. I was drawn to the post because I always love to see writing and drawing by young children. It will always amaze me. But the tech and movies that were also part of her day made the post complete. A 5 year old in a 21st Century world, learning and growing in a place that values what she has to say. What could be better than that?

An older posts that I just discovered hit on my own thinking this week--much of which came from talk at the English Companion Ning. So many of us, who have just joined in on blogs, twitters, nings and more, are often the only ones in our schools or districts who are excited about the possibilities for our classrooms. Ryan Bretag shares his thinking about Local, Global or Glocal on his blog. He says, "Many of us are excited about Global possibilities but sometimes at the expense of local collaboration." This post helped me to realize that for me, it is about both. Networking with colleagues from across the country and world gives me energy and helps me see possibilities. But I also need a group of local colleagues to think with--to go through the day-to-day struggles with. It can't be an either-or for me. And I imagine that is true for many of us. Both of our networks and the ways that they come together, are needed for our personal learning.

That's it for this round. Hope you found some links that helped stretch your own thinking. It seems like information-overload some days but I think it is well worth it!


  1. Thanks for linking to Will Richardson's blog. A great post!!

  2. I like your point about making sure you're collaborating locally also

  3. I'm honored to have helped inspire your approach, Franki! And I look forward to future posts.

  4. Has anyone shared this video with you? It's interesting (and maybe slightly about relevance) but for me it's disturbing that as we cut to images of new technologies it's still a talking head.


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