The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn. Who is an illiterate? In a broader sense, lack of familiarity concerning a particular subject would make one an illiterate.
So, we can also assume, by extension, that a literate individual would have sufficient knowledge of the subject in question — making him capable of understanding, and if possible, change his opinion of the matter, should a new set of information emerge.
In other words, a literate should have the capacity to learn, and if circumstances dictate, unlearn and re-learn. I stand by the statement. Information about a subject matter should empower us to form opinions. But, should conflicting or contradictory information emerge, our existing learning should not stand in our way. Education should be an enabler — and not a restricting factor. Characteristics like adaptability, upgradability, and change should be associated with literates. Education must make us more open to change, and not stand in the way.
It is a given that the kind of institutional set-up will be instrumental in determining if literacy is leading to constrictions, or if it was leading us to a world of ideas. If it the former, then there is no doubt that even educated individuals may not be warm to the idea of change. For only who cannot learn and unlearn to relearn, will be called the literate of today. Literacy is the biggest problem of the 21st century.
In developed countries, this ratio is better while in the third world it is becoming worse and worse. This essay will elaborate that how why this condition is becoming worse and what are the reasons that this statement is true.
Acknowledge and appreciate each student individually, for the qualities which make them unique and wonderful human beings.
You should also make each student feel like they have something to offer and contribute. This will raise their confidence and help them to find their proper path in life. Even if students make only occasional, small efforts, those efforts need to be acknowledged and appreciated.
It is extremely important to respect your students. Respect that they have ideas, emotions, and lives that extend beyond your classroom. Treat them with dignity and they will extend the same to you. Most people today adhere to a paradigm of education that is strictly 19th century. Scott McLeod, in his blog, Dangerously Irrelevant, recently reminded us of a line from Mission Impossible, and we must apply that challenge to all of society.
It is not enough to say that we are already living there. Technically it is the 21st century, but our schools are not there, and our challenge now is to reinvent schools for the 21st century — for the sake of our children, our students and the welfare of our world.
Making such a paradigm shift is not easy. After all, when any of us thinks of education, we usually think of what we knew as school — the way it has always been. That is how parents, policy makers, politicians and many students think of school.
But we have to make the paradigm shift to 21st century education. So what is 21st century education? It breaks the mold. It is flexible, creative, challenging, and complex. It addresses a rapidly changing world filled with fantastic new problems as well as exciting new possibilities. Fortunately, there is a growing body of research supporting an increasing number of 21st century schools. We have living proof, inspiring examples to follow, in schools across the United States.
These schools vary, but are united in the fundamentals of 21st century education — see Critical Attributes of 21st Century Education and Multiple Literacies for the 21st Century. The 21st century is a great place; a dynamic place that is evolving to the point where no one can predict what the world will be like in the years to come.
Society itself is changing in the sense that there is no longer one road to success. The opportunities that are out there make it possible for the everyday individual to make a difference in his community with nothing more than the laptop in his book back and the diligence to make his dreams possible. The success of these individuals is largely due to the connectivity and will of the everyday man. The Internet is an open network where people share information that they feel would make life easier, information that would break down the walls that stand in our way.
The issue being with all this information and students in the 21st century is that we are still living in the good old days. Our schools train us to pass but not to excel. Things like funding prevent schools from exploring fields that are revolutionizing our world. Our students are the ones who pay the price for living in a world that believes we can live in a world that ignores the changes being made.
That in good time our students will learn to adapt to the changes and handle it all on their own. We are fighting two battles that are constantly racing to the top: Both sides have their pros and both sides have their cons. But something needs to be done. We have to find a way to teach our students the fundamentals while preparing them for a world that is driven by technology.
Purpose and collaboration is all it will take to provide our students with the direction needed to be successful in the 21st century. As adults we can understand what these students are going through. We know what it feels like to be a student at that age and the adversities they face. To teach them how to confront the challenges we once faced and what to do differently when that time comes.
But in a world where money restricts what we are able to accomplish, it seems almost impossible to do this. Funding prevents the everyday school from promoting classes in fields that are revolutionizing our world.
Funding stops our schools from having up to date materials. And funding is what will cripple the world we live in. An efficient solution must be found that eliminate the dollar sign that stands in the way of these schools, in the way of these students. Technology is one solution to this problem. The main purpose of technology is to invent something that provides a new or better way of doing something; something that is cost efficient and provides room for expansion.
These are the tools we should be equipping our students with. It would provide them with the same education they are getting from the textbooks they are so used to.
The books will continue to exist but will no longer be the only resource our students are exposed to. The logic behind teaching students with technology in the 21st century is that technology appeals more to students in a world driven by technology.
The average student knows what a computer is, is part of a social network of some sort, and has used technology to help them do something in their everyday lives. It would thus make perfect sense to use what they use so much as a teaching tool. Hundreds of tutorials are out there and everyday new and better programs are being created. The people themselves who make these programs made them with the sole purpose of provide an easier, better way of doing something.
These are the type of people we should be motivating our students to be like. We should be teaching our student not to accept things the way they are but the way they should be. Purpose is another crucial element when it comes to teaching students in the 21st century. The tools being used will have no effect if there is no purpose behind their use.
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