Sunday, March 6, 2011

Digital Media - New Learners Of The 21st Century Great Show from PBS

Watch the full episode. See more Digital Media - New Learners Of The 21st Century.

This is a great show on Digital Media and the skills that 21st century students need to succeed and survive in everyday life. It celebrates how educators have taken on the challenge of teaching in the new environment. There are some really inspirational models for what schools could look like if we embrace technology and teach utilizing it in authentic ways. Students utilize trial and error to problem solve real technology projects such as game design.

Another thing I love about this is that students are encouraged to play and to tinker and to naturally, organically arrive at solutions. The video also shows students pursuing things they are passionate about pursuing not just for school, but as a career. My favorite part was the media work segment where kids were developing films, videos and graphic design portfolios. The teacher, Nichole Pinkard talked about media work and how students had to build on traditional literacy skills, but then needed art literacy, the ability to decipher and understand colors and shapes in order to build a successful media project. The arts are critical!! It illustrated the integrated use of art, literature, music, writing and more. Loved that part!

Another thing this video illustrated is how students became more engaged citizens. Their excitement for digital media caused them to share it with family and friends and eventually to become volunteers in their community. FANTASTIC! I also love how the video showed students connecting with museums through educational programming. I used to work at a Children's Museum and greatly value the learning through play that a Museum environment can foster. It changes the atmosphere and can engage students more than they may be engaged in the standard classroom. There are more options and more possibilities. It is fantastic when students connect with their community and the organizations that exist in that community for educational purposes. Museums that are active and creative can really be a huge part of 21st century learning.

So excited to see that one entire segment was filmed in Middleton, WI. Students are working on Design problems and are using location-based education to learn about the city plan and the uses of the Middleton city plan. What an amazing real world way to teach. The students left the classroom and went where they needed to go to complete the project and solve the problem. It inspires me that this is going on right here near where I live. Students were using their own cell phones to do this. They didn't need big fancy, expensive equipment. I also liked how the students were really meeting with the actual city planners and others that they would meet with if they were doing a real design job. I wish we'd done this at my school with the re-design of the art room and building project.

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