A Proud Teacher ~ 21st Century Learning

#vanmeterbpchs Philly GroupToday was a really cool day for our Web 2.0/PLN class.  And with this really cool day, it happened to happen on the day of Blog for Reform.  The Web 2.0/PLN class has been mentioned in this blog, as well as our expected move to a 1:1 environment in the 2011-2012 school year.

It was today, during class, where I had an opportunity to sit back and enjoy the tremendous growth of my students.  Today the class had an opportunity to Skype with the newspaper writers from Martin Luther King High School in Philadelphia, Ann Leaness‘ school. This was the first opportunity in which all of the students were able to be interviewed about  the class.

What impressed me was how they worked together in preparation for the interview and during the interview.  Approximately ten weeks ago was our first Skype session  with Van Meter.  My students were shy and unsure of how to communicate via this new medium.  Today, they were polished!  They presented themselves in a manner which allowed each member of the class to present their opinions to each of the questions asked of them.

After class I went back to my office and took a look at our school’s 21st Century Learning Criteria. (A collaboration of Daggett’s work and the work of the Partnership for 21st Century Learning)  As I reviewed our criteria, I reflected on the recently completed interview.  Very simply, I was proud!  The only direction I provided to my students was, “Ok, remember today we are going to Skype with a local high school newspaper staff about our class.”  From that point the students assembled themselves, collaborated on how they would approach the interview, and communicated extremely well during the interview about their expectations and experience thus far.

The class is a very broad based.  It is much more of a conversation of the tools the students use and new tools available for their use.  We only meet twice per week given our schedule.  However, in a relatively short period of time I have witnessed a group of individuals whom have come together to work as a team to be proud representatives of their learning.

When discussing 21st century learning, we often talk about the self-directed learner.  Today, I witnessed that learner!  One who is able to communicate effectively and work with others seamlessly.

I am very proud of my students.  As our school community continues to evolve I expect many similar days ahead!

5 thoughts on “A Proud Teacher ~ 21st Century Learning

  1. Aww, Mr. Brannick! That was awesome. Need I say that we couldn’t have done it without your leadership? That was a given. Thanks for everything you’ve done. (:

  2. Proud Papa,

    The classroom you describe sounds like one in which the very 21st century skills of collaboration and problem-solving are at the top of the list of student outcomes, rather than bits and pieces of information that are easily and quickly forgotten. The brain processes everything through the lens of emotion, and providing enjoying, real, challenging opportunities to practice and develop skills is the mark of an educator who has transformed the classroom into a real learning lab, a place where mistakes and risks are a part of learning that lasts.


  3. Bill,
    You’ve every right to be proud for designing an environment and experience that encourages self directed learning!

    Don’t you just love it when students rise to the occasion and more?


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