Dennis Harter and Justin Medved are doing some fantastic work at the International School of Bangkok and are sharing their thinking with the world. Justin created the Curriculum 2.0 video that began this entry, and their thinking is helping me to clarify my own thinking about learning and where technology fits in the teaching happening in our schools today. It’s the learning that is important and that’s what needs to be the focus of any discussion about the use of technology to support learning. Their school uses Jay McTighe’s Understanding by Design to develop their units so they approached their planning with the idea that they needed to formulate essential questions identifying Information Literacy for a 21st Century Learner. Below are their questions represented as a diagram.
They then developed a new literacy wiki that became the discussion forum for these five essential questions and what they termed Curriculum 2.0. Out of this they fine tuned their five essential questions into what they termed, ‘three focused roles of technology in 21st century learning.’
They then evolved to the following understandings and the development of three new questions. What follows is directly from their fifth blog post on this subject – I hope they don’t mind me inserting it here but it is best understood by reading their words.
“From this starting point and as a result of much discussion and collaboration, we all agreed that our ideas and five essential questions could be refined further down to three new questions.
- How do I responsibly use information and communication to positively contribute to my world?
- How do I effectively communicate?
- How do I find and use information to construct meaning and solve problems?
With these questions we then proceeded to flesh out the enduring understandings that went with them. It was our feeling that these should always be evolving to address the changing face of communication, collaboration and information. The curriculum frameworkwould be in constant beta. A testament to the ever expanding nature of the skills it was attempting to map.”
They’ve blown me away with the scope of their discussions and the framework they have provided. I can now see a way forward to implement discussion and change in my school. My best advice to anyone reading this is to visit either Dennis or Justin’s blogs or visit Dangerously Irrelevant where they were guest bloggers this week. Great work guys and thanks for sharing your thinking with the world. It’s a brilliant example of what is possible for our kids if we give them the scope to write for a global audience.