Using 21st Technology to Talk about 21st Century Skills in the Classroom

Today's post deals with a task that my teaching partner, Chantelle Davies, and I worked on discussing how we have used and will use 21st Century skills in the classroom.  We have embedded a video that discusses some of the skills we have developed with students and where we plan to go to next.  At the end of the task besides sharing what we have done, we learned a great deal about technology, collaboration and ourselves.

Our first learning experience came with the exploration of how to create a video that we could embed into a post.  Our first idea, coming form our comfort zones, was to use a video camera and then transfer the clip to our computers.  Then with the encouragement of Zoe Branigan-Pipe, we decided to explore other options.  Our first experiment was with Google hangout.  Though we were able to record our conversation during our test run, we could not find a way to have bout our images recorded. We had hoped to be able to split the screen to see both our of images and to record the audio.  We discovered we required a third party program to record this.  We were unable to achieve a split screen without purchasing a recording tool.  We tried recording with Camtasia's trial program, but it blocked the microphone on Google hangouts.  We were unable to troubleshoot this.  Thus, our final decision was to record our conversation using Skype and a program appropriately titled, Free Video Call Recorder for Skype.

The recording was a very interesting learning experience.  As we began to practice and record trial takes, we began to remember what students might be feeling when they present.  We had giggles, nervousness, tied tongues and forgetfulness.  This lead to our second learning experience in the task, when collaborating, team members must be supportive and positive as the work progresses.  Even after a dozen attempts, we continued to smile for each other and be supportive.  As we watched the video each time we were able to give feedback that helped improve the video and as we followed this process we learned some things about ourselves.  The final product is not of a professional caliber by any means.  Given more time we would have liked to add music and visuals to help make it more interesting than just listening to us talk the entire time.  For that we have a lot more learning to do yet. Top 10

As we worked through this task, we both commented on how this task did not make our list of Top 10 Things To Do.  As we watched and listened to the video, we challenged ourselves to move beyond our comfort zone.  We took a risk to try something new to both of us in order to expand our learning and skills.  The true learning of the task is not reflected in our final product, the true learning occurred in our journey to create the final product.  In order to understand student's true learning, we will encourage students to use technology to reflect and share their journey of learning.  We hope to be able to encourage students to share their journey of learning was they have worked through tasks.

Without this blog post, we would not have shared all the learning that has occurred with this task, so our question is how do teachers ensure that culminating tasks allow students to display all of the learning that has occurred along the way?

1 comment:

  1. Wow. You are both incredible leaders. Not only are you demonstrating and modeling the use of 21st Century tools, including using a variety of mediums, but you are sharing your "thinking" and "learning" that happened along the way. The process of learning through collaboration has not only given you a deeper understanding of how/why you can use these same tools with students, but has also demonstrated how valuable that process is. While we say it "isn't about tool", in some ways, it is. Your story, along with your partnership in this course, is one big example of a "Problem-Based" lesson. It doesn't really matter the problem, but how you learned to work it out, to figure out alternatives, to
    find ways to co-exist and compromise along the way. These are all real world skills that you model for your students.
    Also, you are willing to be transparent about your learning. By sharing yourselves in video format as well as sharing your process of learning, you are being vulnerable and self-reflective. I admire and respect such leadership here and I an inspired that you have shared this on your blog. I will certainly be sharing in the wider education community.