21st Century Learners Require 21st Century Educators

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I recently read a post about the 5 traits of the 21st century teacher on the blog, Developing Education. I have been reading a lot about the 21st century learner, but not much about teachers and what it takes to succeed with these digital learners. I decided this was some great information to share so here goes... 
The 21st century teacher is one that:
  • Is driven to learn...what a powerful example that is to students as well. Textbook-driven teaching is really a thing of the past. While the textbook can be an excellent resource for teaching and learning, worksheets, and other teaching strategies associated with this mode of teaching is outdated and ineffective if profound learning is your goal. As the article stated, there are too many new strategies and tools available to ignore the implications they can have on students of today.
  • Is a media creation expert...materials utilized in the classroom must be energetic, engaging, and effective. There is too much material to cover these days to not tap into the resources available. Our district recently gave teachers overrides for teaching purposes to Internet content blocked by school filters. Yesterday one of our middle school ELA teachers, Kirsten Marcum, mentioned 10 commercials she downloaded from YouTube  using Keepvid to show to her classes as they studied persuasive techniques. They analyzed each of the commercials for techniques used and the emotions they were targeting. This is effective 21st century teaching.
  • Understands digital navigation...they may not be digital natives, but they have the concept of how use digital resources to appeal to these digital learners. Maybe they are not a part of their digital world, but they have a grasp of what that world has to offer in an effort to steer the digital learner towards those tools available for success with learning.
  • Makes the shift to become an empathetic mentor...this educator understands the issues plaguing students in our culture today and is willing to implement learning opportunities targeting individual needs and interests. This educator also understands the need to provide collaborative opportunities for students to develop 21st century skills such as problem solving and working with others effectively. And finally...
  • Is a technology harmonizer...it is time to realize a shift needs to occur in negative thinking towards everyday tools and the classroom. A cell phone is a powerful tool that could be effectively used for learning. We also need to look at making it work within the classroom and the students just might have the best ideas of how to do that...ask them.
    I thought this was a thought-provoking article. There was a lively response to it as well in the comments section. Check it out.
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