Internet Delivery - 21st Century Classroom Educational Resources
Oct 27, 2009 Classroom Materials 2365 Views
We are now nearly a decade into the 21st Century and we should be getting used to it by now. While we can't yet predict what a classroom will look like in ninety years' time, we should have some idea of what a 21st Century classroom should look like, at least during the first few decades of the century.
Just stop and think how classrooms have changed even over the last twenty years. At the end of the 20th Century (in the 1970s and 1980s), the closest most of us got to having computers in the classroom was a pile of that continuous feed paper with the tear-off sides and obscure figures and code on the back. When computers came in, they were a real novelty, but to use them, you had to go to a special computer lab - laptops were almost as much of a status symbol as a mobile phone. Typing was taught on typewriters (albeit electric ones) and if students wanted a nice font (a word we didn't even use back then) for a project, this involved meticulous copying out of one of those books of lettering using tracing paper and window or squared paper. The 21st Century classroom looks completely different.
In a 21st Century classroom, you'll probably find a laptop or two with a printer and wireless internet. You'll find the computer lab still there, of course, but the equipment has been added to with a webcam and a digital camera, and the computers are able to run much more sophisticated programs.
Now, most teachers in the 21st Century classroom have grasped the idea of using the internet for research. This is pretty much a "given", and has been ever since the internet explosion and the dot.com proliferation. With faster bandwidths and more content being available, this opens up a vast library for use in the classroom - a library of educational tools ranging from worksheets to educational videos. This use of the internet in the classroom is still very valid today, but this is now known as "Web 1.0".
Teachers in the 21st Century classroom need to look at the potential of "Web 2.0". Now, the internet is not just a place to find information; it's also a place where anyone can share information and communicate with each other. This also has great potential for use in classroom.
Here are a few ways that the internet is starting to be used in the 21st Century classroom:
· The class website. The class website can be used to post completed projects for the world to view (or members only, depending on what sort of security you want). Creating the website in the knowledge that it can be viewed by people everywhere is a way of stimulating excellence, and requires a range of skills, from research to writing to graphic design.
· Blogs. These would probably be linked to the class website, but a teacher can post blogs giving inspiring thoughts, reminders about homework and projects due, links to good sites for research, etc.
· Communication with other schools: Students can set up a site where they post pieces of work (e.g. essays or short stories). Other students from other schools around the USA or even further afield can view these and post their own material, as well as offering helpful criticism and suggestions. This doesn't have to be limited to literature: it can also be used for art or science projects.
· Communication around the world: In the 20th Century, the closest you could get to having a visitor from the country you were studying in social studies was probably a film or documentary video - unless you were lucky. In the 21st Century classroom, you can easily get in touch with US troops serving overseas, people in aid agencies, park rangers, senators, etc., and you can ask them questions and find out what you really want to know.
Don't get left behind in the technology revolution. Multimedia is the way to go when presenting lessons. Download these free tools for improving your classroom lessons by using videos more-and more effectively.