Sunday, June 14, 2009

Teaching 21st Century Life Skills?

Way back in May, during our last two weeks of school, I had a particular student that missed about a weeks worth of school due to the fact that her mother was about to have a baby boy. While this student was gone, I figured that she was probably taking it easy with her mother and new brother. To my surprise, when she returned to school she informed me that while she was gone she had created a Google docs slide show of pictures of her baby brother. I was not surprised that she wanted to share the excitement that she experienced, I was surprised that she took an application that we have used numerous times in the classroom and used it for a real life situation outside of the classroom. Below is the slide show she created.

This got me thinking.....
.....what activities and exercises that we use in our classrooms have a real world value attached with them?
When I taught Macy and her classmates how to use Google docs, I could have easily complete whatever the assignment was on paper, but because I didn't she learned how to use a new tool.

The fact of the matter is, in today's communication age it is important to understand how technology works. It is important to learn how to use web based applications, social networking, and how to conduct research using the internet. Technology is a powerful tool, but only if you know how to use it appropriately.

Mr. McClung
Originally posted on

1 comment:

John Strange said...

As you know, I teach aspiring teachers. This summer half of my students are "older" students in class to renew their teaching certificates. Their first assignment is to create and present a Google "Presentation." It is new to all of my students. And here we have a fourth grader doing exactly the same thing (except she also took the pictures that are in her presentation. My students have no conception of what current fourth graders know about current technologies, and how they use them. What you are doing, Mr. McClung, is very exciting. I am delighted I can have my "future teachers" see what can be done with technology in the classroom. Thank you! And thank you also, Macy! You set a high standard for my college students!