A Challenge 1 Running Head: A Challenge to Act A Challenge to Act Dorie Glynn Wilkes University A Challenge 2 Abstract During this course, Using Technology to Support Creativity, I learned to identify and define globalization. What I didn’t know, was that I was already reacting to the symptoms of globalization in my own classroom. I will use this knowledge to teach other educators about meeting the needs of the 21st Century Learner and continuing to prepare my students to be productive-creative members of the workforce and society. A Challenge 3 A Challenge to Act During this course I have learned about globalization, its definition and impact on society today. What I didn’t know was I that I am deep in the heart of the globalization issue. I am a bilingual teacher trained to teach LEP (Limited English Proficient) students and especially Spanish speaking students. The majority of the students I teach are not from the U.S. Their parents immigrated to the U.S. in search of jobs in a comparatively thriving U.S. economy. These students are lacking the cultural capital necessary for success in the larger culture of their host country including a lack of linguistic ability and often socio-economic experiences. It is my job to meet the needs of the LEP learner. Some of the strategies used in teaching LEP students are: using visuals, repeated instruction, graphic organizers, and using real life examples (experiments, tangible objects, videos from Discovery Education). These strategies previously known in bilingual education have been implemented in the last 5 years in mainstream education as well and regarded as good teaching. I intend to use these strategies to teach other educators about meeting the needs of the 21st Century Learner and continue to prepare my students to be productive-creative members of the workforce and society. In Joel Spring’s article, Research on Globalization and Education, one of the topics was Global Discourse: Lifelong Education. I was glad to see that there were studies’ being conducted about preparing our student’s to be lifelong learners. I believe that we need to keep learning in order to stay competitive in the workforce and keep up with today’s world. What concerned me was the research that Spring (2008) found. The report on the 2005 summit on U.S. high schools limited the recommended core curriculum to 4 years of English (communication skills) A Challenge 4 and 4 years of math, including data analysis and statistics. These were considered the only essential subjects needed for preparation of students for lifelong learning in the knowledge economy (Achieve, Inc., & National Governors Association, 2005, p. 13). Are English and Math the only essential subjects needed? What about Science and Social Studies? I believe that the curriculum of today needs to change to meet the needs of the 21st Century Learner. Not only do we need to continue teaching the core subjects beyond Math and English generally found at the high school level, but we need to include 21st century interdisciplinary themes into core subjects such as those suggested by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills: global awareness, financial, economic, business and entrepreneurial literacy, civic literacy, health literacy (2004). I agree that including these themes into the core subjects can only bring up student’s thinking to a higher level. The Partnership for 21st Century Skills has made a framework to include the Core Subjects, the 21st Century Themes, such as Global Awareness, Learning and Innovation Skills, Information, Media, and Technology Skills, Life and Career Skills. These outcomes are “the skills, knowledge and expertise students should master to succeed in work and life in the 21st century” (2004). I believe that schools need to change. I have already introduced the Partnership for 21st Century Skills website to my Principal when asked what would be my dream for our school. A Challenge 5 An important aspect of the framework is the Learning and Innovation Skills. These skills include: Creativity and Innovation Skills, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Skills, Communication and Collaboration Skills. These skills are essential to students to elevate their value in the global economy. The Partnership for 21st Century Skills describes Creativity and Innovation Skills as demonstrating originality and inventiveness in work. They give several resources that support developing these skills. One of the resources listed is a site on Bloom’s Taxonomy. Bloom’s is already used in classrooms, although sometimes I think that it is hard for new teachers to adapt to its way of questioning. Bloom’s taxonomy is an excellent tool used to get students to think out of the box beyond the knowledge and comprehension level. During the last four years, my pedagogy has changed. It was then that I was trained and then I trained my campus on LoTi (Levels of Technology Implementation). This training helped me put Bloom’s taxonomy into practice. LoTi focuses on higher level thinking (Bloom’s taxonomy), student engagement, authentic assessment, and technology use. “LoTi focuses on bridging the achievement gap while engaging students in authentic learning opportunities aligned to the state content standards”. Given this knowledge, I am always searching the internet for resources and tools to use in the classroom. I have been learning about web 2.0 tools and considering their application in the classroom. I plan to continue to use the LoTi framework to make my teaching more effective. I also plan on referencing the 21st Century Skills framework and see how I might teach A Challenge 6 those skills. I will incorporate technology to respond to the demands of globalization. How could I not? The world has become flattened and technology is the means to go across the flatness. With the convergence of the Berlin wall coming down, the day Netscape went public, outsourcing, insourcing, off shoring, open-sourcing, supplychaining, informing, the steroids, all coming together during the year 2000, it brought us ways individuals and companies can work on and share knowledge (Friedman, pp.2-3). People are now able to communicate worldwide with the touch of a button. The jobs that will be available to our students in the future will be much different than the jobs available today. The change in jobs is due to the global economy. Students need the skills to be able to collaborate, communicate, and share ideas with others to be productive workers. Web 2.0 tools available on the internet are giving people the ability to collaborate globally. As the jobs change in our society, it will be necessary for people to respect, act civilly, and collaborate with others (Gardner, p. 254). Wikis are one example that I will continue to use and have my students become more proficient at it as they will learn to eventually collaborate with each other. I will connect my students globally with other classrooms using resources such as ePals.com and distance learning. Should we use technology, just because it is the latest and greatest thing available? No, we should not. According to Pink, Mere survival today depends on being able to do something that overseas knowledge workers can’t do cheaper, that powerful computers can’t do faster, and that satisfies one of the nonmaterial, transcendent desires of an abundant age. That is why high tech is no longer enough. We’ll need A Challenge 7 to supplement our well-developed high-tech abilities with abilities that are high concept and high touch. Given the need to foster creativity and problem solving, I will use technology to achieve these goals. With the LoTi framework and the Skills for the 21st century learner in mind when planning out my lessons, my students will have the opportunity to create. Some of the tools we might use include Photo Story and Moviemaker for digital storytelling or making a Public Service Announcement, Kidspiration or Inspiration for organizing graphically their thoughts and giving examples of their learning, ST Math-a visual, non-linguistic program that promotes problem solving, and many of the various web 2.0 tools available. Because of this class, I am now able to articulate to my colleagues why 21 st Century Skills, LoTi, and technology use is important in dealing with the challenges posed by globalization. I hope that my school and district will take a closer look at the Skills presented by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills and evaluate how we might incorporate those skills that we are not addressing at this time. I will train teachers on the technologies available and continue to research tools available to support learners. A Challenge 8 References Gardner, Howard. (2004). How Education Changes: Considerations of History, Science, and Values, in Globalization, Culture, and Education in the New Millennium. University of California Press. Berkeley, California. 235-256 Moersch, C. (2009). LoTi Overview. Retrieved March 8, 2009, from LoTi Connection, Inc. Web site: http://loticonnection.com/lotioverview.html Partnership for 21st Century Skills (2004). Framework for 21st Century Learning. Retrieved January 26, 2009, from http://www.21stcenturyskills.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2 54&Itemid=120. Pink, D. H. (2006). A Whole New Mind. New York: Riverhead Books. (Original work published 2005) Spring, Joel. (2008). Research on Globalization and Education. Review of Educational Research, 78(2), 330-363.