Firstly, I will link the article I am blogging about: here
Secondly, I will speak on the article, here:
I am mostly concerned about the third main point on "Digitally-rich learning experiences," where students, " see the use of relevancy-based digital tools, content, and resources as a key to driving learning productivity, not just about engaging students in learning." When I began reading this section of the article, I expected information about what digital tools we can use in the classroom to increase productivity. However, instead I read about the current perspectives on which tools belong in the classroom from district administrators, principals, teachers, and aspiring teachers (me!).
The main point of my "Essential Element" was that the perspectives in all four groups were leaning more and more towards acceptance of digital tools in the classroom.
However, there are also significant problems that arise from the drive to include the digital world in learning. One problem the section details is the disconnect between tools that are currently being used in classes and what future students are being taught to use in the classroom. But fixing the problem isn't as simple as changing the curriculum in schools of education. Perhaps it would be better to train future teachers in the tools that will be used when they finally get their own classrooms, and not what is currently used. For example, aspiring teachers are being taught to use podcasts and video in their classrooms (39%) while only 24% of current teachers report using podcasts or video in their classrooms. So the question is this: is it better to divert the focus of aspiring teachers from using podcasts and video to tools that current teachers find useful (such as teaching aides or software) or to stay the course with the prediction that digital video will be a bigger part of future classrooms?
I was particularly pleased that this section focused largely on contrasting the current classroom with the future classroom, and how aspiring teachers are being prepared, as well as what aspiring teachers desire in their digital classrooms. On page 14, current teachers list their preferred source of classroom content comes from other teachers. In other words, teachers will make charts, videos, and readings for their classrooms and will then share these aids with other teachers. At first this seems an archaic system. Teachers take overhead transparencies and copy them for a colleague. They make photocopies full of artifacts and faded writing and hand them out to students, whose attention is divided between completing the assignment and deciphering the words. But there is value in the art of sharing and collaboration, and the internet has proven itself time and time again as environment that is all about sharing. I imagine that the future classroom will take shared content above and beyond what currently happens through photocopies and word of mouth. I imagine separate classrooms around the country interacting through the same digital teacher-created assignments. I imagine that the digital classroom can streamline and improve tried-and-true methods that current teachers practice, and will more actively engage students in lessons that have been tailored to them.