Digital Media-New Learners of the 21st Century

This video was about the new age of learning in the 21st century. They talked about alternative schools that chose different methods of teaching which provide a new curriculum allowing students to learn more about technology versus the standard curriculum in Public Schools. It’s interesting to see that they are taking the subjects taught in traditional schools and are morphing the lessons to relate them to the theme of learning in the new school. My reaction to this video in relation to the 4 C’s are as follows:

Creativity: The one lesson about Aesop’s Fables, which in a traditional classroom would be read to the students and the most creative thing they would be assigned to do is to create your own fable, was turned into a video game in the new school. The students still learned the content, but rather than having them write a fable, they were instructed to make a game. This level of creativity is complex, the students were told to translate the fables into games. This allowed the students to depict their own perceptions of the fables into the games, and it gives insight on how the students depicted the whole lesson in a fun and innovative way. This gives the teachers a chance to get to know the students better, and also gives better insight on how their brains work to process the information they were presented with. It definitely helps differentiate each student, as I’m sure they can’t copy a game design from a classmate as easily as they’d be able to copy a poem from a classmate.

Communication: The students are able to convey how their brains process information given to them through digital media. They put emphasis on the new forms of communication of the modern generation. They incorporated this means of communication within the schools to keep up with the students and also provide a familiar basis. Ignoring modern forms of communication is harmful to student progression in life. However, just incorporating Twitter into the curriculum is not all they do, a good example was from a Biotech class. Students were given the task to create a new bacteria through Transfection, which is injecting DNA from a virus into the bacteria which then creates bacteria that eats through plastic. When they learn this concept they are then supposed to create a metaphor that uses something else that already exists in nature to explain the process of Transfection. The point of this assignment is to be able to explain the process of transfection to their younger siblings or anyone else without background knowledge of Transfection. In order to complete this task, students would have to learn how to translate this science in a simpler manner, whether it be by making a video or however they chose. With all of the new forms of communication with the use of technology, they are able to provide new means of teaching to those who don’t have access to it on their own. I think this is very beneficial, this video taught me what Transfection was, and I’m sure everyone else in my ED 554 class learned what it was too, had they not already known. This touches base on social platforms like YouTube. Some YouTuber’s are famous for tutorials, which educate viewers about certain products, tasks, or anything else they have questions about. It’s a good way to be informed without having to ask anyone else about information, with hope that it’s from a reliable source!

Critical Thinking: There was a gentlemen talking about the Quest School and how it’s based on Analogy and how creating video games enhances critical thinking. They showed in the beginning that they students created maps which helped with their game design process. He made a point, in that, teaching students basic facts that have been taught for several years and aren’t useful outside of school is not beneficial to them. With the complex and quick changes regarding technology in the 21st century, it is important for students to be up to date with the new technology. Giving them insight on how to design games in relation with old school concepts is a great way for them to think critically about how to translate old content to new content. Game design is as complex as it gets, and by teaching them one lesson and having them turn it into a game, they mentioned that by making as many options available to the user will have them playing more due to the availability of options. If this was translated into a game about, let’s say the Civil War, they would have to incorporate as much information about the war into the game in order to have people continue playing the game, all while learning about the Civil War. There are plenty of examples of games that relates to problems in the world that have to be solved.

Collaboration: Social and Emotional needs are met in this school through technology and peers working together. Students are given games to work on together, their ultimate goal is to win the game. By playing multiplayer games, the students are urged to work together, communicate, respect each other, and also learn how to effectively strategize and win the game. This takes away from the stereotype that gamers are antisocial, in fact this school proves the opposite. The multi-player games encourage teamwork and one benefit is that once they’re done playing the game, they talk about it outside of the classroom, which encourages social interaction. Emotional needs are met by socializing, that’s how kids find their friends. They can make so many social gatherings out of playing games, they can host competitions and have discussion groups about different strategies to try out. It’s just a whole other ball game when it comes to the gaming world. I think it’s great because students who would normally be taunted, lectured, or punished for playing too many video games, are rewarded in school and have a positive community to reach out to that understand their interest and joy of technology and video games. Also, this school doesn’t solely focus on video games, there are many different electronic platforms that they are able to work with, which benefit them in the long run with all of the advances in technology.

Overall this video is very informative and interesting to watch, this type of evolution of education should definitely be spread to more schools!

New Learners of the 21st Century Video


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