Another somewhat informative but rather uninspiring chapter from Web 2.0. Okay, I don’t mean to be difficult, and I admit that I have pretty high standards, having already read and enjoyed Cathy Davidson’s Now You See It: How Technology and Brain Science with Transform School and Business for the 21st Century. However I really don’t think that this chapter does a good job answering the question: “What do these new technologies mean for our schools?” let alone answer the question posed on page 177 “What should we expect from our new schools?”

I guess the problem is I am really an advocate for educational reform. I am concerned by what a decade-plus of “No Child Left Behind” has done to our classrooms, and do not see the majority of the classrooms of the 21st century meeting the needs of the students of the 21st century. Instead I am afraid that, as Davidson says so eloquently in Now You See It ,”Our standardized education not only bores kids but prepares them for jobs that no longer exist as they once did.” ( pg. 81)  And so when I read a chapter called, “New Schools”, I have high expectations, and even higher hopes.

To me the most interesting part of the Web 2.0 chapter was Jeff Utrecht’s very short piece, “Creators in the Classroom” which advocated for educators embracing and harnessing the power of the social web as an educational tool, and David Warlick’s “Learning from Games” which listed the “elements of the video game experience that makes it both compelling and instructionally potent.” Still even here, I think Davidson says it better with “Games work so well and are so infinitely appealing because they reinforce the idea that the more we know, the better the game is.” (p

So really, my reflections on this chapter come down to this: if you are interested in envisioning (or even better creating) a 21st century classroom, you should start by reading Cathy Davidson’s book.

 


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