Frau's Blog

Archive for January 2009

http://www.21stcenturyskills.org/index.php

 

It is clearly important for teachers and schools to constantly be preparing our students to be the best they can be. Preparing them with the skills they need to be successful is essential. I think this website is very helpful for finding teaching resources to better teach these skills and also articles from across the country explaining different findings on the topic.

Something surprising to me is the amount of resources that this site has available to teachers. I have been browsing Route 21 and have found several web resources that even I, as a foreign language teacher, could use in the classroom. There are 570 resources at Route 21 alone. I was also surprised by the amount of news and articles that are covering the concept of 21st Century Skills. I was disappointed though to see that my state, Ohio, is not one of the state initiatives listed at the site. It is too bad that Ohio has not taken enough steps to be considered an “Initiative State”.

I do not disagree with anything that this site, or others like it, is trying to accomplish. In reading through their mission statement, they only hope to fill in the gaps between what schools are offering and what students need to be truely successful in society and life after school. Skill included are as follows:

  • Information and communication skills (information and media literacy skills; communication skills)
  • Thinking and problem-solving (critical thinking and systems thinking; problem identification, formulation and solution; creativity and intellectual curiosity)
  • Interpersonal and self-direction skills (interpersonal and collaborative skills; self-direction; accountability and adaptability; social responsibility)
  • Global awareness
  • Financial, economic and business literacy, and developing entrepreneurial skills to enhance workplace productivity and career options
  • Civic literacy

From: http://www.21stcenturyskills.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=188&Itemid=110

As a teacher, I think it is hard to be against anything that is hoping to accomplish these skills with students today.

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My post about blogging became a rant about an internet filter, so I figured I’d post again a bit more specifically. : )

One of the main uses for a blog is for kids to see what they have missed if they were absent from school one day. I have a very difficult time getting my kids to make up work. I let them know about tests or quizzes days in advance and it is still like pulling teeth to get these kids to make them up. Plus, I hate the “What did we do yesterday?” questions that I get nearly everyday because attendance is awful. I woud love to be able to post all assignments to a blog each day so that students will know what they miss without having to take time out of class to figure it out.

I also would like to use it for discussions. I would like to post a link to an article or something and then give students a grade for participating by commenting on the article. There is so much going on in Germany and the students do not realize it. It would be a great way for the kids to learn something about the country that speaks the language they are learning, but also a way for them to interact with each other.

I hope this clears things up a bit! Thanks to my Walden classmates for all their comments!

I have gotten so frustrated with my school’s internet filter!!!

For my Masters course, I have started my very own blog to use as a classroom resource.  I have been so excited to become more familiar with blogging and how to use it to help my students find new information or possibly even see what they might have missed if they were absent a day at school. So today during my prep period I attempted to log in to my very own blog and much to my dismay IT IS BLOCKED. So my students will not be permitted to look at my blog from any school computer.

Now, I can email our school technology guy and I am sure he can lift the block on my blog, but it really got me thinking about how much is actually blocked from our students on the internet.

I am fully aware of the inappropriate websites and videos that can be found on the internet and how a filter is essential to keep students away from certain things.  However, I have a hard time with some of the websites that are actually blocked. YouTube is blocked. Google Video and Image searches are blocked. And even select blogs are blocked as it turns out! Everytime I want to show a video (a Volkswagon commercial to show German culture in United States society) or play an mp3 (Erlkonig by Schubert) as a learning tool I first have to find a website I am allowed to go to actually use it and sometimes I can never find a website that is not blocked. A colleague of mine, a Spanish teacher, has had the same problem doing a class project. The students were supposed to plan a day in Spain, including admission to sites, travel expenses and food. Come to find out that the Spanish train schedule website is blocked.

Clearly it is important to protect our students from certain sites, but Spanish trains? German engineering in the house? Schubert? Aside from the obvious, how much of the internet really needs to be blocked by schools to keep our kids from looking at inappropriate information?

This is my first experience with a blog and I am doing so as a part of my Master’s program: Integrating Technology in the Classroom.



  • Stephanie: Thanks Cesar! It is wonderful to have such support through our cohort. I appreciate your comments and kind words.
  • Cesar Rubio: Hi Stephanie, You are making great strides in completing your GAME Plan. I'm so jealous! I haven't gotten mine off the ground because I don't know
  • Toni Malvestuto: I hope you have a better week this week. I know how stressful it can be when you don't have the resources you need at hand. I have also learned not

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