Thursday, October 18, 2012

21st Century Skills


Although 21st century skills may sound like knowing how to download pod-casts, search Google, or find free apps on your I-Phone, business leaders and educators know the skills people in the post-industrial economy will need in order to thrive and be successful.  Do you have what it takes to thrive in the 21st century?

*  Collaboration- Do You?
- take responsibility for the quality and timeliness of your work
- accept shared responsibility for group work
- apply or encourage strategies for discussion and decision-making
- identify and prioritize goals and tasks
- respect ideas, opinions, values, and feelings of group members
- work well with diverse group members

*  Critical Thinking and Problem Solving- Do You?
- recognize and define problems accurately
- gather information from a variety of sources and evaluate the information
- organize, analyze, and synthesize information to develop well-reasoned conclusions and solutions
- consider alternatives; recognize implications and practical consequences

*  Presentation/Communication- Do You? 
- use effective oral presentation skills
- create media/visual aids that enhance content delivery
- gauge audience reaction and adjust presentation
- respond to questions appropriately

Do you have what it takes to thrive in the 21st century?

Monday, October 15, 2012



Stop Bullying!

“When people hurt you over and over, think of them like sand paper. They may scratch and hurt you a bit, but in the end, you end up polished and they end up useless.”
Chris Colfer

Bullying is a problem in which we can't control. What really is bullying? I believe that bullying is a huge problem in the school, the state, and the Nation (and of course the world).
This year 827,161 kids are bullied every day! So how do we prevent bullying? We work together and try to fight these bullies with our voices!  Speak up to your bully and stand up for yourself; the problem will never get fixed unless you do something about it.

Bullying is just plain being mean. What is bullying to you?  I have been verbally bullied throughout my school career, and it stinks! When I am bullied, I feel like no one appreciates me, and I feel plain dumb. Verbal bullies are the WORST and make me feel like an outsider.

What type of bulling affects you the most, and how does it make you feel?

Here is a quick video on bullying.  Listen closely before posting your response.


Monday, October 8, 2012

"Nothing Gold Can Stay"
by Robert Frost

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf,
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day
Nothing gold can stay.

As I read this poem, I wondered what connection Frost was making between nature and youth in the line, "Nothing Gold Can Stay."  Why do you suppose Ponyboy refers to this poem while sitting on the steps of the church, gazing over the mist of the valley?  Is he thinking about his own life, his youth, conformity, peer pressure, ...........? What part of Ponyboy's character do you mirror yourself?  After all, isn't there a little Ponyboy in all of us?

Monday, October 1, 2012

Watch this video before responding to the Blog

 The concept of Digital and Web Literacy is new to most of my generation and generations before me.  In fact, my mom, who just turned 78, bought her first computer just four years ago.  Mom has yet to create her own website or write an award-winning weekly blog, but she has taught herself to e-mail, create folders, scan, print, conduct web searches, and use the word processor, which is amazing.  

I'm a digital immigrant as well.  I laugh when I remember that my big senior gift before going into college was an electric typewriter; I was the envy of all my friends.  My only educational preparation for the literacy world I live in today, was a Fortran Computer Programming class I took my senior year in college.  I knew nothing about computers; but I did learn how to program one! I haven't programmed a computer since then........

Today, I'm a member of a tech-enabled world, which allows me to participate in and critique a vast array of information on a minute-to-minute basis.  My real challenge is to prepare my students for the rapidly changing world they live in.  What should Digital Literacy look like in the classroom today?  

*  Students need to UNDERSTAND technology and how it operates- the BIG picture

*  Students need to CREATE using new technologies- the ability to voice through creative technology venues

*  Students need to CRITIQUE incoming information - analyze and synthesize from a multitude of perspectives

As you think about your future and look at the changing world around you, what role do you see Digital Literacy playing in your life?  In your career? Are you prepared?  What changes in Digital Literacy do you see in your future?