Briana Morton on the 21st Century CTE Classroom
I was helping a veteran educator prepare for a job interview as an
administrator in her school district. She is candid about her biggest weakness,
which is not embracing technology soon enough. Let me be clear- her students
have overcome great obstacles because
of her approach to teaching, and she did it all without using a lot of cool
gadgets; however, in hindsight, she wonders if she utilized best practices when
it comes to effectively preparing her students with 21st century
students can master standards without
technology. But can students be prepared for tomorrow’s global workforce
without the appropriate technological skills required by employers and the
industry? According to the International Society
for Technology in Education (www.iste.org), some of the 21st century
skills needed for successful entry into higher education and the workforce
include the ability to use personal computers for basic word processing,
effective online communication, and the ability to solve basic problems using
various forms of technology.
educators, it is important that we embrace technology, but in the CTE
classroom, it is imperative! In order to effectively train and prepare our
future workforce, we must purposefully use technology in a way that is
meaningful to them and beneficial to their preparation for a 21st
century, global society.
Start small. You don’t have
to use every app and every device for every project. In fact, if you are not
tech savvy, focus on one project. One project that uses technology in a
purposeful way will be more effective and create more opportunities for
students rather than using something just because it is trendy.
Seek grants and
you shall find.
Every year, I purchase new technology for my classroom through grants. These
are grants that I have sought out specifically for my students and specifically
to prepare them for the 21st century.
When in doubt,
figure it out!
That sounds harsh, but isn’t that what you tell your students? You encourage
them to problem solve, and that is what I am encouraging you to do! Trust me,
you aren’t the only one who has questions and there are thousands of talented
educators who have answers.
finally, I can’t tell you what to specifically use for your classroom because
we all take different approaches to education, but Google Apps for Education is
my latest crush. My students have responded well to it also, which is extremely
important! My students have small businesses and they are able to create a
website using Blogger; create order forms for clients and analyze those
spreadsheets using Google Docs; and collaborate with each other through Google
Drive. Collaboration is the key. Any program that allows students to
collaborate globally is wonderful! If you are proficient with Google, I highly
recommend looking into ePals (www.epals.com)
or TEDEd (ed.ted.com).
look forward to hearing how you have embraced technology or how you are now
committed to embracing technology. After all, it’s for our students and they
deserve the best.