Thursday, May 27, 2010

Guided Inquiry in the 21st Century

In May we began the third stage or our Title ll grant for 2009-2010, a state funded graduate level course, EDU 593 - Guided Inquiry in the 21st Century - offered at UMF.  On May 18th, we held our first session involving 15 educators from WMEC schools.  All of these educators have participated in previous staff development in literacy focusing on the meta-cognitive processes involved in problem - solving, critical thinking, collaboration and communication.  As a team, we are now transferring what we know about strategies into the medium of technology (see rubric).  As a final project, teachers will produce  teaching units.  

 Over the last 2 years of the grant, as I have traveled among schools, I have begun to see the literacy-technology integration piece as two-fold:  1.  an understanding of the cognitive processes necessary to responsibly  maximize the opportunities offered through technology and 2. the use of technology itself.   

You will notice I listed the cognitive piece first.  So far, my experience has lead me to believe teachers struggle more with this part than the technology piece because it requires a firm understanding of the process as well as a new way of teaching (for many).  

Following is an article - courtesy of ASCD Smartbrief -  that looks at what some schools in Virginia are doing about the thinking strategies we are exploring.  

Stay tuned.  We are meeting again in June.  Enjoy!!

Virginia schools test 21st-century skill sets of students
A number of Virginia schools are testing students on problem-solving, critical thinking, collaboration, communication and the use of technology -- all considered to be 21st-century skills. One county is beginning testing this year with its eighth-graders, while another county has been using portfolio assessments during the past five years to test the skills of younger students. "We want to go beyond what NCLB is asking, beyond what the Standards of Learning tests assess, to really ensure that we're preparing our students for a global economy," one Henrico County official said. Richmond Times-Dispatch (Va.) (5/24) Bookmark and Share

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