21st century education – technology integration


We have begun a 21st century education initiative.  I was wondering if anyone elsedis working on an iniative like this?  What are  you doing integrate technology in a way to not make it just for show?  If you are using technology how are youreaching the higher orders on bloom’s taxonomy?

  1. Jerry ThackerJerryT
    Jerry ThackerJerryT03-31-2012

    The starting point to any 21st century initiative is to first recognize the changing nature of today’s digital natives. In a brief article I wrote, I listed 13 characteristics of the digital student. Here is what my research produced. I hope you find it helpful.

    Digital technology is changing almost every communications venue that exists. It is also having an impact on modifying the expectations that students and their parents have on educational facilities. Recent research shows that:

    1. Most schools have failed to effectively utilize digital technology. Instead, it has been “tacked on” to the current education model. (Moe, 2009)

    2. Because the current model in use in American education was designed to turn out mass-trained students for agricultural and industrial jobs, digital generation students find school boring and believe the skills being taught are unable to meet the world’s fast changing needs. (Jukes, 2010)

    3. Teachers are finding there is an ‘understanding gap’ in the way students experience the world compared to the way they experienced the world growing up. This manifests itself in students ‘turning off and tuning out’ and the belief that adults who control education have outdated knowledge and a different experience of what it is like to grow up in the 21st century.

    4. Today’s students spend large quantities of time in the digital world — a world that is adapting, growing, innovating, and changing at the speed of light. The inundation of our children in digital media for 7 to 10.5 hours per day continues as three studies five years apart have proven. (Rideout, 2010)

    5. Some see increasing digital media use as a severe problem—even an addiction—that is changing the chemical balance and flow within the brain. (Barna, 2010) Some studies suggest that the way today’s children acquire knowledge and information is also altering brain structure. (Jukes, 2010)

    6. Children born after 1992 were “born digital,” and have had access to instantaneous communication and the integration of digital media into their daily lives. (Pape, 2005) This ‘digital generation’ is learning and thinking in new ways fostered by a digital life context. Students recognize they speak digital as a first language; their parents and teachers speak it as a second language and these groups are viewed as not being up-to-date on technology. (Palfrey, 2008)

    7. “One of the key differences [in education] relates to time and learning. In a traditional classroom, time is fixed and learning is variable. In a virtual classroom, learning is fixed and time is variable.” However, online educational products and services can conveniently deliver learning opportunities on-demand, anywhere and at anytime–even after school hours. (Greenway, 2006)

    8. Because the world’s knowledge is exploding exponentially, schools cannot teach everything a student needs to know later in life. The ‘just in case’ learning philosophy is giving way to a ‘just in time’ learning philosophy that incorporates continuous and immediate access to current digital data as a part of the student’s life through the use of the latest digital devices. (Collins, 2009)

    9. The delivery of a customized, “student-centric” education based on learning styles and areas of interest is being facilitated by new digital technologies. (Christensen, 2008)

    10. Technology, as it seeps into almost every venue including education, is changing delivery system philosophy and reality. The utilization of courses taught through a distance learning model has the potential of changing educational methods and structures. Current public, Christian and home school models of teacher utilization, content delivery and school funding are already starting to undergo change.

    11. Excesses in the use of digital technologies have resulted in many concerns about the Net Generation. The top issues include: They are dumber than their parents when they were their age; they are net addicted and losing social skills leaving no time for sports or healthy activities; they have no shame; they are adrift in the world and afraid to choose a path; they steal—especially intellectual properties; they bully people online; they have a diminished work ethic and will be bad employees; they are narcissistic and “don’t give a d#*n.” (Tapscott, 2009)

    12. The argument can be made that enjoyment of the Net’s bounties is leaving students without the ability to read and think deeply. This is believed to be a function of an “intellectual ethic”—a set of assumptions—about the nature of knowledge and intelligence, that is different from that presented in printed books that leaves the student shallow and relationally impaired. (Carr, 2010)

    13. In essence, today’s students are living two distinct lives. One is the life of school where all things digital remain relatively unplugged. The other is the life out of school where they live as digital citizens. One perspective says it is time to help students blend their lives into one through the creation of an effective apologetic that leads to balance in the use of digital and non-digital modalities and educational approaches. (Ohler, 2010)


    Barna, G. (2010). Media Exposure, Addiction, downloaded from on February 8, 2010.
    Berg, J. (2008) Essential Virtues: Marks of the Christ-centered Life, BJU Press, Greenville, SC, 33+
    Christensen, C., Horn, M., Johnson, C. (2008). Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns. McGraw Hill, New York, NY. 10+
    Collins, A., Halverson, R. (2009). Rethinking Education In The Age Of Technology, Teachers College Press, New York, NY 4+
    Greenway, R.,Vanourek, G. (2006). The Virtual Revolution: Understanding Online Schools, Education Next, (6) (2) Hoover Institution Press 34+
    INACOL (2009) K-12 Online Learning: A Smart Investment Now More Than Ever. Downloaded from, March 11, 2010
    Jukes, I., McCain, T., Crockett, L. (2010). Understanding the Digital Generation: Teaching and Learning in the New Digital Landscape,21st Century Fluency Project/Corwin, Kelowna, BC, Canada, forward, 2+
    Moe. T., Chubb, J. (2009). Liberating Learning: Technology, Politics, and the Future of American Education, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, CA, 65, 149.
    Ohler, J. (2010) Digital community, digital citizen, Corwin, A SAGE Company, Thousand Oaks, CA. 9+
    Palfrey, J., Gasser, U. (2008) Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives, Perseus Books Group, Philadelphia, PA, 1+
    Pape, L., (2005) High School on the Web, downloaded from on April 17, 2010
    Rideout, V., Foehr, U., Roberts, D. (2010) Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8-to 18-Year-Olds, Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, Menlo Park, CA. Downloaded from on January 20, 2010, 2+
    Tapscott, Don. (2009) Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation is Changing Your World, McGraw-Hill, New York, NY

  2. Paul Williams
    Paul Williams04-03-2012


    Great material, thanks!

    I have already seen the difference in the way that students learn. I have watched my own children and other students for a few years (I have 23, 22, 18 and 17 year old children) study with headphones ( I know, I am a bad parent) while texting but I have not seen their grades go down. Actually last yers senior class had an SAT average of 1768. I have recognized that even though I could not study that way they have learned to or at least have trained their brians to work in that manner. If I translate this to the classroom then we are in need of doing some revamping in the way we teach. At KHCS we have about 30 students (out of 110 HS students) taking online courses therefore meetnig the just in time learning concept.

    Our current school improvement initiativfe includes working to devlop a model where we can integrate the 1-1 technology without it being window dressing. I can’t see the value if we are not reaching Blooms higher levels of learning; evaluation, investigation, assimilation and such. Do you have any ideas of how we might reach these goals most effectively?

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