What do we mean by the 21st century classroom? How do we apply technology tools in ways so that we can more easily achieve meaningful teaching and learning in the 21st century?
The 21st century is constantly changing with new developments in technology and our ability to share resources quickly and efficiently with other educators. We can make updates to classrooms around the country by installing smart boards or giving students laptops or iPads, but if we do not utilize these devices in teaching for all that they can do then we are doing a disservice to our students.Sites like TED ED have the ability to transform the way students learn outside of the classroom. Instead of reading from a textbook and answering questions as a homework assignment, students can watch videos, submit answers to questions, and further their knowledge all in less than a half hour. The teacher is then able to see the students answers before class the next day and can assess where the students are at with the new material he/she wants to cover or where students are at with material that he/she has already gone over. There is a lot of flexibility within this site, where as teachers can make a lesson that is the first level of DOK or the fourth level of DOK depending how in depth he/she wants their students to go with the material. Google+ has developed many applications that take classrooms from the bottom of the SAMR ladder to the top in an instant. Students are able to google hangout with one another to complete group readings, they can all work on one document at the same time, and they can share their documents in a folder that the whole class can access when logged on. Sites such as wordpress.com allow students to blog and talk about class topics and other students can comment and share their own ideas and opinions. Our reading in class touched on teens “addiction” to social media. Why don’t more teachers use this to their advantage? Twitter is becoming more popular among educators as a way to connect and share opinions and resources through edchats. Similar to what we did in our class this semester, classes have class hashtags that students and teachers can use to share ideas and have them all filter into one location. All of these different resources take learning to a new level both inside and outside of the classroom. As new technologies continue to develop it is important that we as teachers stay up-to-date with them and incorporate them into lessons and assignments all the time.