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by: Jan Jackson

Technology has become very important in our daily lives. Many of us couldn’t function on a daily basis without our cell phones, laptops, and iPads.  In addition, our children are overly exposed and stimulated by video games, cell phones, and television on a daily basis. With the big boom of technology in today’s society,  there is a need to integrate technology in the 21st Century classroom.

Learning for the 21st Century Classroom emphasizes:
* Digital  literacy -using communication,information processing, and  digital research tools  (email, presentation software, Internet)
*Critical thinking/Problem solving-using spreadsheets and design tools to solve complex problems)
*Interpersonal Skills-using personal development and productivity tools to enhance one’s life ( e-learners, time managers, and collaboration tools).
The 21st Century classroom combines old content with new skills to create more rigor and relevance for students. Learners are encouraged to take creative risks in this environment while teachers are provided with more opportunities to foster creativity in their instruction. When students look at core knowledge through  real-world examples, they  are being prepared to compete globally by developing  interpersonal communication skills while learning content.
There is some debate amongst educational thought leaders about this learning model.  Some argue that technology does not aid  in the retention of core knowledge for students, and the 21st Century Classroom Model focuses on teaching students how to “use” technology  with less emphasis on core content.  The “old school” way of teaching affords students a better chance to learn and master the 3 R’s (Reading, Writing, Arithmetic). While there are those who oppose, the fact still remains that; children born in the 21st century are digital natives, and many American graduates are entering the 21st century workplace unprepared.
So do you integrate technology into your classroom?

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