Are You A 21st Century Teacher?

This is a good list to keep teachers moving forward. I know I’ve got a lot of ground to cover. The list comes from the blog simplek12. It’s a little old (5 months), but I’m new to twitter, and someone I follow retweeted this, and it caught my eye. Trust me, I was very skeptical of twitter, but honestly the resources I’ve found via twitter in the two months since I began trying it out, have been extremely useful. I dabbled in myspace – useless. Facebook is really a social tool. Linked in just doesn’t work that well for me, but Twitter and blogging seem to work for my own professional growth. Anyway, you can find the list below with my comments in green.

“21 Signs You’re a 21st Century Teacher


Are you a 21st Century Teacher? Find out! PLUS if you can help me add to my list you may win a special $200 prize. Keep reading to find out how…

1. You require your students to use a variety of sources for their research projects…and they cite blogs, podcasts, and interviews they’ve conducted via Skype. Not there yet – remember I teach 2nd grade, yet this doesn’t mean this can’t be done.

2. Your students work on collaborative projects…with students in Australia. Also not there yet.

3. You give weekly class updates to parents…via your blog. Yes, and class website.

4. Your students participate in class…by tweeting their questions and comments. Again, I teach 2nd grade and am fairly new to this tool.

5. You ask your students to study and create reports on a controversial topic…and you grade their video submissions. Yes to the first statement, and I offer video submissions as an option, but haven’t received one yet. 

6. You prepare substitutes with detailed directions…via Podcasts. Cool idea, never thought of it.

7. You ask your students to do a character/historical person study…and they create mock social media profiles of their character. Not yet.

8. Your students create a study guide…working together on a group wiki. Boy am I feeling so last century.

9. You share lesson plans with your teacher friends…from around the globe. Just starting to do this. 

10. Your classroom budget is tight…but it doesn’t matter because there are so many free resources on the web you can use. Exactly.

11. You realize the importance of professional development…and you read blogs, join online communities, and tweet for self development. One of the main reasons I do it. 

12. You take your students on a field trip to the Great Wall of China…and never leave your classroom. The pyramids of Giza, King Tut’s Tomb, but Great Wall of China may come soon (one of my students chose it as part of her independent research project)

13. Your students share stories of their summer vacation…through an online photo repository. I don’t share photos of my students unless they’re behind a password protected page.

14. You visit the Louvre with your students…and don’t spend a dime. Did that with the Museé National Picasso in Paris before our visit to the Seattle Art Museum whem it’s collection was here. 

15. You teach your students not to be bullies…or cyberbullies. Definitely. One of the reasons I think kids should use tech early is so they can use it responsibly and respectfully. They need to learn how to use it as a tool, not a crutch, and they also need to learn to turn it off. 

16. You make your students turn in their cell phones before class starts…because you plan on using them in class. Not something of concern with second graders.

17. You require your students to summarize a recent chapter…and submit it to you via a text message. Pencil and paper still work for this one.

18. You showcase your students’ original work…to the world. No, but I put them on our class website.

19. You have your morning coffee…while checking your RSS feed. It’s an evening thing for me, so no coffee.

20. You are reading this. This must be a bonus.

21. You tweet this page, blog about it, “like” it, or email it to someone else…” Another bonus.

Well I’m only just over the halfway mark, but it’s already growth from last year.  There are some other experiments I’ve tried this year.

Using donated old iphones for dictionaries next to traditional ones.

Those same iphones as web browsers when the other computers are being used. And kids using them as cameras to document their work.

Some great learning apps on the ipad (attained with Scholastic points) and those donated iphones (I got 3 – most parents give their old ones to their kids when they upgrade, but why not ask).

Having kids turn in projects in as a powerpoint deck (and learning some tips about design so we don’t end up with death by powerpoint) – They taught themselves how to use ppt in one 45 minute session where they were asked to simply play, discover, click, and figure out on their own what each button did. 

Assigning Khan Academy as homework.

And finally, using social media to share, learn, and grow as a teacher. You have to start somewhere. It’s been useful for me. 


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