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Education in the 21st Century

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Education in the 21st Century

In today's dynamic classrooms, the teaching and learning process is becoming more nuanced, more seamless, and it flows back and forth from students to teachers.

200,000: number of teachers who graduate from college annually.

3.7 million: Estimated number of elementary and secondary school teachers in 2011. This number has risen 7 percent since 2001. Of the 3.7 million, 3.3 million are public school teachers and 0.4 million private school teachers.

The crisis in education:

  • 19: number of states that cut education funding by more than 5 percent between 2010--11 and 2011--12.
  • 4: number of states, Illinois, Kansas, Texas and Wisconsin, that cut education spending by 10 percent or more.
  • 80: percentage of school administrators who describe their budget as inadequately funded.

So, how do you solve the crisis?:

Key Trends

Collaboration: Web 2.0 has taught us to play together. In progressives schools across the country, students and teachers are learning from each other through social media to...

  1. Learn more about specific subjects
  2. Test out ideas and theories
  3. Learn facts
  4. Gauge each other's opinion

Technology power: Kids are learning through the use of...

  1. Kid-specific social networking sites
  2. On their blogs
  3. On school sites
  4. On Facebook
  5. On Twitter

Technology power: Teachers are learning and sharing ideas through the use of sites like...

  1. Classroom2.0
  2. Teacher Tube
  3. PBS Teachers
  4. Edmodo
  5. Edutopia

Technology Power: Teachers are reaching kids through the use of programs built around teaching kids

  1. How to create video games using Guitar Hero.
  2. To communicate using Voice Thread
  3. To learn global languages using ePals and LiveMocha
  4. To create avatars of characters using Voki
  5. To communicate with other kids around the world using Skype
  6. Tech-savvy teachers are threading media-making tools into the curriculum with free tools like comic strip-creation site ToonDo, MicrosoftPhotoStory3 for slide shows, Microsoft Movie Maker and Voice Thread to string together images, videos, and documents.

And finally, during tight economic times, administrators, parents, and teachers ask:

Q: How do you meet the demand to increase access to learning opportunities and reduce costs (of all this technology) without sacrificing instructional quality?

A: Implement a blended learning strategy.

Blended learning involves:
  1. Courses that integrate online with face-to-face activities
  2. Courses that are taught both in the classroom (face to face) and at a distance
  3. Mixing or combining instructional technology with actual job tasks in order to create a harmonious effect of learning and working.
  4. Blended learning is combining computers with traditional teaching. It's also referred to as reverse teaching, flip teaching, backwards classroom, or reverse instruction.

It's not really new: The Blended Learning concept has its antecedents

1840: Establishment of the first correspondence school in Europe

1883: Chautauqua (Correspondence) Institute founded in New York

1910: International Correspondence School launched in Pennsylvania

1999: the first use of the term blended learning is used, although the technique (minus the technology) has been around since at least 1840.

Teachers use the blended technique in different ways. Some teachers...

  1. Assign interactive quizzes and online projects at home
  2. Use computer time in classes
  3. Assign watching videos and lectures at home and use class time for hands-on projects
  4. Use home-time online discussions and collaborative projects as fuel for content and discussion in the classroom.

Thus, Blended Learning is the use of two or more distinct methods of training. This may include combinations such as:

  • blending classroom instruction with on-line instruction
  • blending on-line instruction with access to a coach or faculty member
  • blending simulations with structured courses
  • blending on-the-job training with brown bag informal sessions
  • blending managerial coaching with e-learning activities

This movement is growing quickly:

$30 million: Amount that the Dept. of Education plans to spend over next 3 years bringing blended learning to 400 schools around the country.


Education in the 21st Century