Teaching & Learning in the 21st Century

#1: Teaching & Learning in the 21st Century 

About Me:

Talofa, my name is Adelle Talaeai and I am a high school teacher at Nu'uuli Vocational Technical High School in American Samoa. The core subject i teach is science, particularly Biology and Chemistry. I have a bachelor of science degree in Information Systems and I am currently pursuing a master's degree in Curriculum studies at the University of Hawaii. 

As a science teacher I am faced with a number of challenges that are often affecting the quality of education i impart to my students. In addition to the lack of science teachers one aspect affecting the science curriculum are the lack of materials and a science lab. 

Views on the 21st century education:

My views of the 21st century education would be for students to be equipped with the necessary knowledge, skills, tools and demeanor to enter the world prepared and to be able to solve issues in life and their careers that are meaningful, productive and worthwhile. 

The 21st century education would include teachers who are able to adapt to and utilize a variety of available up-to-date tools and technologies to generate and engage students.

How technology can be used in the classroom:

Integrating technology as a tool to educate requires dedication, education and proper implementation. 

Based on the reading there are many sufficient tools that can encourage learning on a broader scale than what would normally be in a traditional setting. Some great examples I have read and would like to use of technology in the science classroom, found in the articles on Edutopia, are the virtual simulations by Physics Education Technology (PhET) Project and the National Science Digital Library (NSDL). 

With the lack of materials in my classroom the use of PhET and NSDL can provide avenues of supplemental learning and fun engagement.  We would not necessarily have to worry about losing or breaking materials, let alone wearing safety gear. 

Another technology program that seems interesting is the Quest Atlantis. I am fairly new to the idea of game-based learning. After reading and watching the Quest tutorials the subject matter and storyline seems enticing. This game can be focused on gaining student interest, especially with many of the self-proclaimed  'gamers' in my classes.

In biology using virtual simulations such as frog dissecting can help students gain a better understanding of the intricacies of living things minus the gooey part. A virtual simulation that i have used in the classroom is the simulation of the cell and when it goes through the process of cell division. 

Technology can be used for practically anything, however it does not necessarily mean it will provide expected results. Teacher involvement is key and for that i intend to do a lot more research online for technology tools i can use in the classroom.

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