21st C Learning

by sellamwalker
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21st C Learning

21st Century Learning and American Literature: How will I enhance my American Literature Course?poster yourself

I like the idea of creating a wordle and then asking the kids to make guesses, based on the words that appear, their size, etc., what the themes or issues we may encounter. I created one using "The Legacy of McCarthyism", and this could be a fun activity to use with the youtube video, and for them to then apply to their reading of the play.Remove any element you don't like - just select it and click the red trashcan!

I will have my students follow me on twitter. My username is: http://twitter.com/sellamwalkerHHS. I'm debating putting homework on there....I think it would be a great tool for updates, quick announcements, deadlines, etc. My twitter is also linked to my blog:http://sellamwalker.blogspot.com/

This youtube video not only allows the students to see the McCarthy hearings, but it invites them to relate these issues to other moments in history. On our moodle page, we will ask the kids to engage in an online discussion about this video. In their discussion, they must relate this video to Miller's play, making specific references to the play and its characters.

21st Century Learning and the reading of Literatue: How will I bridge the gap? In my Multicultural Lit class, I have the students read excerpts from Du Bois. I will have them listen to the podcast of "Of our Spiritual Strivings" while looking at the text (also on this website). I have a set of discussion questions that they will complete together and then perhaps also complete an online discussion forum. Some of the terms from Du Bois then carry into their reading of Morrison's The Bluest Eye. The students will work with Du Bois' concept of a "Double-Consciousness" throughout the semester.

I've created this social learning network here and I'm going to keep exploring how my students can use it. I think it would be a nice addition to the moodle site. Perhaps I will find that there are too many places for the students to go, but I like exploring what these different outlets can offer.

I will use this wordle to explore the idea of the american dream and then link their ideas to our novel, The Great Gatsby

While listening to Sir Ken Robinson's talk, I found myself agreeing with most everything he had to say. In fact, his speech was very similar to the presentation that Angela Maiers gave last week at BLC '09 (I think you were there with me, Jen, in her presentation). They both agree that children enter school with 21st century learning skills and that the schools manage to break those down and squash them. Robinson mentioned a child's capacity for innovation, for perseverance, creativity, and many other attributes that I think most of us can agree children have naturally. We have frightened children, especially those that we see in secondary grades, of being wrong. I have more conversations with my juniors about the learning process, about how it is through their mistakes that they will learn, and how those lessons will be so meaningful because they persevered and put themselves out there. They didn't take the easy way out, or copy someone; instead, they took the risk of failure. Robinson mentioned that we must create a new conception of human capacity and remember to educate the whole being. Of course we are teaching our disciplines, but we are also teaching these children how to embrace their full humanity. The answers aren't necessarily as important as the questions themselves, or as the process we engage in when on the quest. Rainer Maria Rilke begged people 'to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer...'I think we need to implore our students to 'live the questions now', to bring the Medici Effect into their lives. As Johansson explains, 'we let our fear of mistakes and failure hold us back. and we tend to compartmentalize information. We need to teach our students to break down the boundaries in their minds'. We need to teach them not to be afraid of mistakes, or to take risks with their learning. The link that I've attached here is to an MP3 of a Black Eyed Peas song. I was thinking of having the kids, after reading up to chapter 5 in The Great Gatsby, create their own version of this song. Their lyrics must reflect what Gatsby would be feeling upon meeting up with Daisy again, after 5 long years, at one of his parties. What lyrics would he include in this song? Their lyric choices must demonstrate an analysis of the text, of what brought Gatsby to this moment, of what he would be feeling and thinking.

Another great tool is Etherpad. With this, the kids can collaborate on a something like a Word document. You could use this for vocabulary stories, or even for a passage pass (where students must select a passage and then comment on each other's choices). Each student receives a different color font, so that it is easy to differentiate between writers. This is wonderful for collaboration, as well as for peer editing.


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