The call for innovative solutions to prepare children for the 21st century is getting a global response, and there is a video series on Edutopia.org demonstrating real results that are replicable right here in Alabama.
One success story featured in the 2012 Edutopia series is the technological innovation in Singapore classrooms, where instead of considering social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter a distraction, they use them to engage students in real, interactive learning. Their comprehensive approach address both adult learning and student learning. Teachers and administrators work together to learn how to engage students using these new tools. And, students are allowed to learn by using many of the tools that they use at home, but were previously banned at school.
Several Alabama schools could also serve as examples for their creative use of technology. At Talladega’s Winterboro H.S., a grade 5-12 school, students are acquiring skills and knowledge through project-based learning. Cross-curricular classes are co-taught by two teachers and technology is used seamlessly to open the world to this rural school, connecting students to tools that they love. In nearby Piedmont, students in grades 4 through 12 are given their own laptop to broaden their horizons. Several businesses in Piedmont provide free wireless to students who don’t have access to the Internet at home.
“Sharing innovative, successful ideas is the cornerstone of our work through the Alabama Best Practices Center networks,” said Cathy Gassenheimer, A+ VP for the Alabama Best Practices Center. “We work with educators across the state to expose them to best practice, and and in return we often get the best and most proven ideas from them.”
Click here to visit Edutopia.org and view the clip on Singapore schools, and other featured videos.