Individuals involved in education often note the fact that “students are different today.” While students of today are still required to learn the same, core “3R’s” (reading, writing and arithmetic), they are different in how they interact with academic material inside and outside the classroom. Students today must develop 21st century skills called the “4C’s” (Critical Thinking and Problem Solving, Collaboration, Communication, Creativity and Innovation). These students, dubbed the “iGeneration,” are busy, connected, digital citizens who expect their education to reflect and resonate with their daily lives. As 21st century educators, we must rise to the challenge of creating new educational methods that inspire and enable our students to develop their 3R’s and their 4C’S.
At Holy Spirit School, we adopted the Apple One-to-One initiative as the foundation of our classrooms. Using this technology, our teachers engage our “iGeneration, ” digitally demanding students to develop their critical thinking skills. The concept of creating 21st century classrooms is not exclusive to Holy Spirit School; rather, we are a part of a worldwide educational movement on the rise in K-8th, high school, and university establishments.
HSS classrooms facilitate interactive lessons and provide collaborative opportunities in which all students participate. Students have the tools to produce digital projects, such as iMovies, keynote presentations, Garageband songs, and Comic Life picture books to name a few. They have access to technology that provides our students the tools they need to demonstrate their learning and the extent to which they grasp the material at hand in the digital format with which they are most familiar. Our students are young, digital citizens of a very connected world. We are challenge them to interact positively in the digital world, making technology in the classroom the tools of their daily life. More importantly, our 21st century educational approach is teaching them key life skills that they will use to succeed in their future academic and employment opportunities.