Defining 21st Century Learning

In recent discussions of research versus search, a controversial issue has been whether Wikipedia is a reliable resource or an untrustworthy aid to help students “cheat” on essays and other assignments.  On the one hand, some argue that Wikipedia is a tool that doesn’t deserve its bad reputation.  From this perspective, Wikipedia is viewed as an unbiased and wealth of information.  On the other hand, however, others argue that since anyone can edit the information on Wikipedia its not a reliable source of information.  According to this view, students should be using .gov cites or trustworthy websites written by scholar’s.  In sum then, the issues is whether Wikipedia should be used as a resource or banned as an unreliable resource.

My own view is that there is no reason for Wikipedia to frowned upon, it should be treated as legitimate  online resource  .  Though I concede that the possibility of misinformation is reason to pause, I still maintain that Wikipedia is a tool for students.  For example, it provides a more unbiased view of history, which textbooks cannot even say because if a textbook wants to published it can’t offend anybody, and ” editors are urged to keep a Neutral point of view” (Marc Prensky).    Although some might object that textbooks are what need to know and don’t contain the other information because it’s not necessary, I would reply that it is necessary especially in history classes to get the whole story, because one fact can change how people see history.  The issue is important because students deserve unrestricted access to a non biased form of information, so that students can form their own opinions and ideas on whichever subject they choose to research. Teachers need to focus on a students ability to cite and learn to acknowledge a the difference between a reliable source and an unreliable source.

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Introductory Concepts

In recent discussions of technology  classroom, the controversial issue being whether or not to incorporate new technology into a classroom setting. On one hand, some argue that technology is the best tool to keep the new millennial generation from being bored ( Turning on the Lights). From this perspective technology is the most up to date tool for students, and far better than outdated tech. On the other hand, however, others argue that though technology is new, does not mean that it’s better than old tech, that has worked efficiently for many years( The Right Technology). According to this view , technology can do a lot, but the same thing can be done just as easily on paper and is more effective with pencil and paper. In sum the issue is whether to incorporate technology into the classroom or continue as is with outdated technology.

In my opinion, the core of the issue presides in whether or not that if technology was to be incorporated into the classroom, that it would actually be a tool to students, or a detriment to the students learning career( The Use and Abuse of Technology). In some ways technology is the key to keeping the attention of young students who see such technology on a regular basis, including IPad’s, computers, and many more of today’s new technology ( The Use and Abuse of technology). In my opinion with technology changing so often, no matter what technology is incorporated into the classroom, it becomes out of date, within a few months. With my experience in a classroom setting, technology was a small  but prominent part of the teachers curriculum. What I noticed from observing the students was that when students were allowed to use the IPad’s for an activity, or to write on google docs, most were excited and used the time wisely, while others didn’t follow directions and waste their own time to work on homework in class. For some students it can be the most fun they have in the day, others just don’t see it that way. Though the same goes for paper and pencil, some students will just stare at their paper and not do much. We need to figure out a way to correctly incorporate technology, not just fill the classroom with it or take all of the technology away. In my opinion technology should have a place and time in every classroom, though the classroom should not be dominated by technology. With this perspective, there is no solution that is all technology or no technology, a balance between old and new must be found. Though this issue is very pressing, it will take time for any such curriculum to come into effect that will benefit students.

This issue is important to discuss because if technology is not incorporated correctly or not at all, it could cause untold damage to students careers. Many say that one these options is the best solution to improve the learning of changing generation. My own view is that these students are indeed a new breed of student than those who went to school over a decade ago, and in my opinion should be taught differently, but complete upheaval of the old education system will not work.