In science, the question comes up on the difference between knowing and believing. This concept comes particularly into play when discussing controversial topics that brush upon facts and beliefs. In a New Culture of Learning the difference between knowledge and belief is made clear. Knowledge involves facts where as beliefs are open for interpretation. (Pg. 91) This is an important stance to take as a science teacher in order to maintain a boundary between teachers, their beliefs and the content delivered to the students.
Digital technologies have opened possibilities for student choice and creative expression. Using digital technologies to produce student work allows for the building of context with the material, creating links and connections, and gives meaning to the content. (Pg. 94) Although teachers are not familiar with digital technologies it is essential that teachers explore digital technologies as resources to use within the classroom and develop skills that are needed to survive in the 21st century.
Technology use is a spectrum amongst users. There are some users who simply "hang out" and visit the resources when convenient. There are some users who "mess around" and briefly explore the content. Lastly, there are some users who immerse themselves in the technology; they are known to be "geeking out." (pg. 101-105) Since digital technology use is a spectrum, teachers must facilitate lessons that will support the variety of users. As a teacher I can use choice to support the variety of students. I can use resources that give opportunities for students to hang out, mess around or geek out depending on their choice and want to interact. Hopefully as more of these opportunities are given, students will dive deeper into the opportunities and shift towards interacting by geeking out.
"Imagine an environment that constantly changing. Imagine an environment where the participants are building creating, and participating in a massive network of dozens of databases, hundreds of wikis and websites, and thousands of message forums, literally creating large-scale knowledge economy. Imagine an environment where participants are constantly measuring and evaluating their own performances, even if that requires them to build new tools to do it. Imagine an environment where users to help them make sense of the world and their own performance in it individually and personally construct user interface dashboards. Imagine an environment where evaluation is based on after-action reviews not to determine rewards but to continually enhancing performance. Imagine an environment where learning happens on a continuous basis because the participants are internally motivated to find, share and filter new information on a near-consistent basis. " pg 106-107 No longer is this an imaginary environment but the reality of the 21st century. To prepare students to strive in this world, teachers must teach 21st century survival skills and incorporate these skills into every lesson. These skills include learning how to learn and relearn, how to collaborate, how to construct, how to build, how to apply knowledge to solve questions and generate new questions, and to be creative and innovative when solving problems. To many teachers entering the professional educator world, the concept of 21st century skills is novel and can be approached with negativity. But teachers need to remember the world that students are currently living in, and teach the skills that are specific to survival of the 21st century. Teachers need to embrace concepts such as the idea that when playing and imagination occurs, learning is happening. As a professional educator, I vow to incorporate 21st century skills and facilitate play, creativity and imagination to prepare my students for like as a 21st century citizen.