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Possibilities for the 21st Century Education 
ByEdMo   posted on01 May, 12 4688 Views 0 Comments Main Feature Add to favorite

“One can’t believe impossible things.”
“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age I always did it for half-an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

-Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland


What is 21st Century Education?

It is bold. It breaks the mould. It is flexible, creative, challenging, and complex. It addresses a rapidly changing world filled with fantastic new problems as well as exciting new possibilities.

The new millennium was ushered in by a dramatic technological revolution. We now live in an increasingly diverse, globalized, and complex, media-saturated society. According to Dr. Douglas Kellner at UCLA, this technological revolution is from an oral to a print culture.

Today’s kindergarteners will be retiring in the year 2070. We have no idea of what the world will look in five years, much less 60 years, yet we are charged with preparing our students for life in that world. Our students are facing many emerging issues such as global warming, famine, poverty, health issues, a global population explosion and other environmental and social issues. These issues lead to a need for students to be able to communicate, function and create change personally, economically and politically on local, national and global levels.

Even kindergarten children can make a difference in the world by participating in real-life, real-world service learning projects. You are never too young, or too old, to make your voice hard and create change that makes the world a better place.

Emerging technologies and resulting globalization also provide unlimited possibilities for exciting new discoveries and developments such as new forms of energy, medical advances, restoration of environmentally ravaged areas, communications, and an exploration into space and into the depths of the oceans. The possibilities are unlimited.

iKids in the New Millennium

You may have heard today’s students referred to as “digital natives”, and today’s educators as “digital immigrants”. We are working with students whose entire lives have been immersed in the 21st century media culture. According to an article on the Edutopia.org web site, today’s students are digital learners – they literally take in the world via the filters of computing devices: the cellular phones, handheld gaming device. PDAs, and laptops they take everywhere, plus the computers, TVs, and game consoles at home. A survey by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation found that young people (ages 8-18) make use of mainline electronic media for more than six hours a day, on average. Many are multitasking – listening to music while playing a video game. (Synching Up with the iKid.www.edutopia.org).

Even toddlers utilize multimedia devices and the Internet with tools such as handheld video games like Leapster and websites such as www.PBSkids.org and www.Nick.com. Pre-schoolers easily navigate these electronic, multimedia resources on games in which they learn colours, numbers, letters, spelling, and more complex tasks such as mixing basic colours to create new colours, problem-solving activities, and reading.

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