Authors note–this was written over 5 years ago, though some has changed most of it has not, and many classrooms in the US look just like this.
A while back, I had asked my son why he got a 2 (needs work) in use of library resources. He said to me, “I went to Google to get the information I needed, and did not go through Loin to Britannica Elementary”. He continued, “Like when would I login to get that type of information.” My son just hit on an important concept of why delivering 21st Century skills to students is so challenging. The school curriculum requirements are not in line with current practices in society. The context of learning must be in line with real world based applications, including the tools that you use to access the information. When I asked my son’s friends about getting information through a Loin login to access the Britannica Elementary, they said “it is just lame and a waste of time!”.
These 4th graders in my urban neighborhood are pretty savvy about searching the internet, they are on Google, Y-Tube, downloads, ask.com, etc… and have a pretty good idea how to find information. They are currently using tools and applications that are more advanced than what they are being taught in their school and school district, at the same time creating their own content.
The new technology that is available to the 21st Century mobilist expands the opportunities to engage students, to creating 24/7 learning environments through the access to audio, video, internet, and cloud applications .
Students need real world applications, including the tools they use, to develop meaningful learning. Next time I see a 2 on my son’s report card for use of library resources, I will say that’s my boy, go out and acquire those 21st Century skills since all you are doing is learning about library history. –KAS