Wednesday, 26 November 2014

3 Profiles: Secondary School Student's Opinion on 21st Century Learning

As part of tutoring with the SSEN Learning Centre this month, we are focusing on understanding ourselves as active 21st Century Learners. 

We first worked on brainstorming and defining what we think 21st Century Learning looks like in the classroom today using mind mapping.

We then wrote individual mini-blogs to reflect on how the current education system in Ontario is providing 21st Century Learning opportunities and what else can be done to bridge an existing gap.

To begin, the students were each shown this tweet by Lester Laminack to spark their active minds for engaging with 21st century learning concepts. His website was also used for reference.

(All information/images shared with permission)


 Students from a century ago and students from 21st century are very different. Invention of electronics, such as smartphones and personal computers is the biggest difference between them. Students' learning style and the time period is different. We cannot have a class without collaboration and interactions between students and teachers, and we should remember that we are learning for our future. 

Teachers usually restrict students from using cellphones in a class, but technology can be a tool for students and teachers to make them learn better. Almost every students including grade 1 to grade 12 knows what smartphone is. They use smartphones to communicate with their friends, or playing games a lot, and these reasons make teachers to hate smartphones. However, if teachers can teach students using the smartphones, students will be motivated to learn, because they already are very familiar with the learning tool called smartphones. Electronic resources, such as ebooks or online learning videos actually help students to learn and remember them. 

Teachers in Korea are stuck in the old learning style, which forces students to memorize, not to learn, and actually have a beneficial effect to students for the future.  Students in a class must follow instructions that teachers give, and cannot have a discussion within the class. This method usually makes students to forget what they learned after a year or two because they didn't really understand what teachers were saying. What students did were just copying what teachers said. This is very inefficient way to get students to learn. There must be discussions and debate in the class, and students must share their own opinions and interact with their classmates and also the teacher. Collaboration is also important, but the old method prevents students to learn collaboration and confidence to speak up, and actually "learn". This is why we should have think about the future for the students that really can help them to "learn" something from the education system.


I often think about technologies settled in our school sometimes needs to be changed or improved. And this comes to my mind very often when I look around my school. When I am looking at slow computer, I think about how should they improve this computer's speed. It's not that I am uncomfortable with these technologies we have in my school, instead, of course if my school is going to expand the level of technologies in learning, they could start putting some more thinking into it. For instance, they could put more classwork into technologies and do some classwork with computers and taking notes with computers to prevent sore arms and hands by writing a stack of notes and make it easier to access their work and so on. They should have more serious rules about electronics and doing other things on computers instead of finishing their classwork. A lot of things should be changing soon and specifically technologies in schools.

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