I've been talking and writing for years about literacy, what I've been calling Contemporary Literacy, but also coming to call, Learning Literacies. Admitedly, it's easy to talk about this stuff academically. But picturing what it looks like in today's classrooms is a bit messier.

I'd like to start doing that -- figuring out how to collaboratively paint a picture of teaching and learning that is more relevant to today's children and their future. I have some ideas on how to do this, but I thought I would just throw this out here first, and get some first impressions and insights from you guys!

My ultimate goal is a document or product that teachers can come to and get a clear visions of what the 21st century classroom -- and more specifically, the 21st century assignment looks like.

Tags: 21c, basicskills, literacy, retoolingclassrooms

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Well, was using the word document in a very broad sense. It could include a video, or an interactive web site that is collecting content. Again, I have an idea, but I wanted to get some insights from others.
I'm going to make a suggestion to accompany this fabulous conversation. ..and this is not the project that I was "envisoning". More on that later!

Some of you may be aware of a project that I have been running on the Net since 1997 called "The New Century School House." It is a virtual make-believe school where educators can adopt an empty classroom and repurpose the room for 21st century teaching and learning by describing (1) what people will be doing there, (2) the hardware, software, furniture, books, etc. that is present in that room.

You are all invited to come to The New Century School House and adopt a room. If all of the room in the first floor are already adopted, then go to the elevator and click to the next floor!

Have fun!
why not a wiki?
I would see a wiki as coming in real handy at some point in the future, but what I'd like to see first off is something that is anchored to what we're already doing. I think that it is critical to offer a bridge between today's classrooms and tomorrow's learning environments.

More on this later! Just trying to get caught up on e-mail right now!

-- dave --
I just adopted a room in the New Century Schoolhouse after reading this discussion thread. I really found it both exciting and difficult to decide what how that room should function and what it would look like. I found that along with the technology tools I currently have and the MANY more I would like to have, there were aspects of my current classroom that I still wanted to include. Plain old butcher papers and markers were just as important for helping students learn, think and process as technology tools. I'm hoping to see more adopted rooms and the ideas others come up with for the 21st century classroom.
I think the most "progressive" classrooms are those that are allowing students to direct the course of their learning, through audience and awareness.

The product I think most does this David, is digital storytelling. Whether that be in an overtly personal vein or following the traditional approach of telling a story through pictures/text or videos with music or a subject (say science) through the lives and struggles of those involved.

We should admit as educators that the age of "ideas" in a sense is dead. We are the dinosaurs, each and everyone of us speaking in this thread. I don't say that lightly. Pictures and "image" are the new tools of self "expression" - that process of which education in its fullest sense embraces, the process of self - awareness through making that invisible/visible. McCluhan's Gutenberg galaxy though, is burning more dimly.

I really believe we have to create a classroom where there is technology that allows students to inductively discover the truths of "living". As Connie noted, hunting and many other ways.....The teacher as always, the Socratic weaver of these discoveries and leading the learner to a high synthesis. But we have to imagine a classroom of "images" -- students think less like we teachers do and we have to respond to that challenge. Stories will always be an underlying template for human thinking but the form has changed.

My lesson plan for the future involves students creating stories. Less of the time wasting model in current vogue (my god! how kids waste time in school! This is my biggest gripe.) and more of a model that allows them to produce and participate and present. That's why for me, the model that works best for any subject is to create a story out of it. And from that, let students see the "green fuse" that runs through it all.

If I were teaching any subject and subject only to my own laws and school design. I'd listen to what the student's own curiousity suggests and then send them scavenging for images/sound/info to meld into something they own and can present. With this, cooperation and community are built. With this, they are truly traveling, which is the goal of education, to see what does not exist and to go there......

I'll upload a few examples of what I'm thinking/talking about shortly.

David

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