Saturday, February 21, 2009

Article from School Construction News

The Digital Age

New Columnist Discusses IT Solutions for the 21st Century
By Howie DiBiasi

I recently retired as the chief information officer for the Durango School district, in Durango Colorado. During the 14 years I spent in Durango, I witnessed many changes with information technology and had a first-hand look at old vs. new techniques for classrooms instruction, construction and management.

My world changed dramatically after I retired in January of 2008. My phone started ringing with invitations to speak at conferences and provide professional staff development to educational leaders and teachers. My emphasis is 21st century skills and how we need to change our classroom environments to prepare our student for the global work force.

Over the last six months, it has become very evident to me, that most schools are teaching with too much paper. Administrators are inundated with test scores, state standards, No Child Left behind and other assessments required at the local, state and national level. Many districts teach to the test by spending hours training the students to get betters test scores. We need to move into the 21st Century classroom and become agents of change.

A 21st century Classrooms should incorporate the digital tools our students use every day. A recent study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that:
• 59 percent of all American teenagers engage in at least one form of online content creation
• 35 percent of all teen girls blog
• 20 percent of online boys blog
• 54 percent of girls post photos online compared with 40 percent of online boys.
• 39 percent of online teens share their artistic creations online, such as artwork, photos, stories or videos
• 33 percent create or work on Web pages or blogs for others including groups they belong to, friends or school assignments
• 28 percent have created their own online journal or blog, up from 19 percent in 2004
• 27 percent maintain their own personal Web page
• 26 percent revise content they find online into their own creations

My research indicates that more than 78 percent of schools block students from creating content, blogs, wikis, photos sites and other Web 2.0 tools. I understand the need to meet the e-rate requirement and provide filtering content, but most districts block the very things that kids are doing every day when they leave our classrooms.

In the next few months I will answer question and provide information on the digital tools and technology that are shaping modern classrooms:
· Ways educators can meet the demands and challenges of 21st Century learning.
· How Digital Tools can provide 21st Century skills that involve: Writing, Speaking, Visual,Technical, and Personal Development Skills.
· Use technology to develop proficiency in 21st century skills and support innovative teaching and learning
· Techniquest to enable students to easily go beyond the narrow confines of the safe knowledge base of their academic discipline to apply themselves to whatever they encounter in the post-education world.

Howie DiBlasi is an IT consultant who speaks regularly about 21st century schools and teaching techniques throughout the United States.

Your ideas or comments?

Howie...Where have you been???

I am so far behind in my blog.....Really working on some new posts this weekend.
Stay tuned !!!