21st Century Learning

All people are shaped by their environments, and the environment in which our students are growing up is media rich, fast, engaging, dynamic and instant.  It is also driven by technology more and more.  Communication is instantaneous and prevalent.  No longer do students need to wait for an answer to a question -- it's almost always at their fingertips.

This world, obviously, has a great impact on how our students learn and show what they know.  It also creates a challenge for us in schools -- how can we equip our students to use new technologies responsibly and ethically, and how do we help them to sift through the sea of information, evaluating good from bad and applying the right information to the right situation?

District 30's vision of 21st century teaching and learning begins with the question "what does a 21st century learner look like in District 30?"  As we pondered this question and researched, a model emerged.  This model has become part of the conversation in our curriculum development and our professional growth.

District 30 Students Are...

Communicators and Collaborators:  Students work together, formally and informally, in person and virtually, to share ideas and contribute to the learning of others.

Emerging Critical Thinkers:  Students are effective consumers of information, able to ask important questions as they investigate their world and able to effectively evaluate the information which they receive.

Creators of Knowledge: Students will demonstrate innovative thinking, the ability to construct information and negotiate various tools in the building of products to evidence their learning.

The new learning environment includes...

Global Awareness:  It is critical that students are able to understand the complex issues facing our world and the multiple perspectives through which our world is viewed.

Inquiry Skills:  Students are able to access more information than ever before and direct their own learning.  However, they need guidance in learning how  to learn, and in how to apply that knowledge in constructive ways.

Digital Learning:  Technology has given us access to more information than ever before in history, and has opened up new opportunity for publishing and sharing our ideas and creations.  Students must learn how to responsibly use these tools as personal learning resources.