Monday, December 11, 2006

Moving students beyond the 20th Century

I just finished reading a short post at Weblogg-ed by Will Richardson and it suggested the following to help move schools beyond the 20th Century practice of isolation.

1. Teach kids more about the world.
2. Think outside the box.
3. Become smarter about new sources of information.
4. Develop good people skills. (Communicate, collaborate)

Well, it seems that this is exactly what I have been trying to do with my Spanish students. We are currently using technology as never before and the students are starting to think on their own. We have a blog, a wiki (private), a website, and soon we will be using moodle if all goes well. We just have to work all of the bugs out with our IT people. But it looks promising. Are we doing everything perfect? No! We are making our fair share of mistakes along the way, but we are thinking outside of the box and moving beyond the 20th century.

As a matter of fact, our latest assignment was a Web Quest on the 21 Spanish Speaking countries and it seems to have been a success. We spent two days in the media lab and developed presentations for the classroom. Each student was required to pick a country, research the country, and develop a presentation with 10 specific slides. The slides ranged from geography to food. Now the students are presenting the presentations for their peers and we are critiquing the slides in the true spirit of Presentation 2.0. As such, I think we are addressing the four points suggested by Will Richardson. I am more than pleased with the assignment, as are my students. Moreover, we are going to pick out the best presentations and add them to our wiki for future reference.


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