New Learners of the 21st Century



The above quote by John Dewey really made an impact on me while watching the PBS Video- New Learners of the 21st Century . I truly never realized how important it was to educate our children on using technology and incorporating it into our classroom lessons. The video discussed the important need to teach children to solve 21st century problems using 21st century tools. Our children are no longer of an age where they will can be fully prepared for the working world without these important technological skills. Having grown up while computers were still new and having left school before they were really integrated into the classroom, I have already started to  feel very out of touch and lost in dealing with the programs everyone appears to be comfortable with.  I have first hand knowledge of how this inability to understand and use technology can be a struggle in academic as well as professional life.  The teaching strategies shown in the video really opened my eyes to the possibilities and the necessity of incorporating technology in our classrooms.

I was especially interested in the program developed by the Smithsonian Institute that used technology and text messages to  develop scavenger hunts for kids and teens to play at Smithsonian Museums themselves. Having spent time in the museums this weekend I could fully relate to the museums need for a more 21st century approach.  As discussed earlier in the video, children are learning and interacting more through technology than by simple facts and lecture curriculum.  For museums to continue to reach its younger audience, who often find the current museum structure boring and outdated,  this program seems like a great way to excite and interest young learners by having them solve clues and interact with the museum’s collection.  It was not only an exercise in using technology to develop the scavenger hunt but also a lesson in team work, creativity, and the subject material itself.

The video really opened my eyes to different and innovative ways for children to learn and the need for them to become comfortable and fluid with technology. I am still hesitant in my own abilities to use the same technology, but excited to learn and pass along the valuable information!

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