Well, I'm back after two days of ITEC conference & two days of illness and I have just one thing on my mind...David Warlick's Keynote Address. His main focus was on "Literacy & Learning in the 21st Century," and how lack of information is certainly not an issue any longer. Students need to know how to sort through the never-ending deluge of information to be smart consumers. They need to have the ability to "mine" the information fields and be able to search out and discern reputable information. He noted that WikiPedia often takes an educational hit because of the nature of a wiki---anyone can edit it. It often posts warnings that material may be biased or incomplete, yet how often do text books post that warning?
We are now in an age in education which we are preparing learners for a future we can hardly imagine. It is not like that of our "factory" past. As educators, we need to adjust our very pedagogy. What worked 25, 10, or even 5 years ago is in the past. Warlick states we should not teach from our pasts, but for the future of our learners. We are now in an era where if a child cannot figure how to advance to the next level in a video game, the answers are only a mouse click away. Warlick even cites a personal example where he was in the middle of our country, looking at an unmarked pyramid & was wondering what it was...so he tweeted on Twitter. From across the globe, in Austrailia, an answer came back. The gal on the opposite side of the world saw his tweet, Googled the information, and tweeted him within a matter of minutes. Not only do we have this world of information at our fingertips, we can now harness it and direct it to come to us through things such as RSS feeds, iGoogle, Twitter, etc...
As we prepare the Sioux City Community School District with the 21st Century Classroom equipment, I think having David Warlick speak to our troops is vital to the success of this project. Equipment is just equipment. Just as overhead lighting is now ubiquitous, so must the "tech. stuff." This equipment is not the magic bullet...our wonderful educators are, and I am so very lucky to be able to work along side them in this endeavor.