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Who will lead the 21st Century classroom-summary.

October 2, 2012

Change is never easy and today we are seeing a push away from what some may see as traditional education in the United States to one that could be drastically different in the future. This is especially true at the high school and higher education levels. Some of you have made some great points in your comments, such as:

Change is a big part of education, especially when it comes to technology. I have seen teachers who are willing to change textbooks, but not willing to include Web 2.0 technology”. – Marc

Many instructors will be uncomfortable with this change, and those of us willing to bring the technology into the classroom will have to push them to understand the value of this change and the benefits they may see. We will have to lead by example.

I am struggling with the integration of technology in my classroom. On one hand, I love to wow my students, but when something goes wrong and the technology fails, it is very discouraging”.  – Dawn

Those of us leading this change are ahead of our colleagues and in lots of instances ahead of our institution or district in the integration of technology. This is the reason we need to collaborate with each other and bring in the Web 2.0 technology. The net itself through the use of RSS allows us to follow and find out the latest information. Not only may we have to lead at our site, but we may have to lead at the district level too.

“I know it is not easy for me to step outside of the comfort zone…I like routines”.- Kelly

Leaders must break their own comfort zone in order to lead. Realize that we all have a comfort zone and will not move forward if we get stuck in it. Education is about what is best for the students, not the teacher.  Site leaders should be aware of the needs of the teachers, but it is their job to move the group forward and take them out of this comfort zone.

“The AP talked about what a positive impact having the computers in student’s hands was having throughout the school”. – Clair

This is a great example of how students can become engaged because we are using tools that they are using on a daily basis. Web 2.0 is something they are comfortable with and certainly needs to be used by teachers to engage them at all levels. Mobile and tablet technology is increasingly in use in our school systems and is part of this change in education.

Final Thoughts

As most of you know, you are leading this disruption in education. You are in this class because you are using or hoping to use more Web 2.0 technology in your classroom. As an educator, you understand the value of learning and making yourself better at what you do. Some of those that we work with will resist this change, but it is in our best interest and the interest of our students to evolve and move forward. I would challenge you to find a way to lead in your school setting. You can set the pace for others to follow or you can sit back and ignore what is happening. I know that those who are in leadership positions will set those standards and have a voice. Those that sit back and resist this change will continue to struggle with reaching students and eventually will only fall out of favor with instructional leaders at the school site. This change may be slowly creeping up on you or can be coming at you full force at this point, but reality is it coming. It is predicted that by 2019, over fifty percent of high school students will have an online class. I find this change to be positive and exciting, and for someone who has been teaching for over twenty years……refreshing. Congrats to all who have chosen to move forward and lead!

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