In Will Richardson’s book titled “Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms,” he discussed 10 Big Shifts in how to best teach students in the 21st Century. Big Shift #1: Open Content is of particular interest to my teaching practices. The Open Content shift emphasizes the way in which students interact with information. Teachers are no longer the primary controller of information. Textbooks no longer need to be the primary source of information. Now, students have access to information from various sources and in various formats. This shift has led to the motto in my classes, “It’s not about what you know but how quickly you can find it”.
I began teaching in 2004 and I have never had to rely on a textbook as a source of information. From 2004 to 2016, new technologies and new sources of information evolved and have made it even easier to teach without a textbook. In my classroom, I uses videos, the Internet, blogs and other sources of information accessed on the Internet to teach the content. My students are asked to find deeper meaning in the concepts that we learn rather than memorizing information from a textbook. We use real world examples to connect with the information. Each year, finding those real world examples becomes easier because of open content.
As technology and the way in which students consume information change, teachers need to be aware of the changes and continually adapt the way in which they deliver the content in their classroom. School districts can help by offering professional development on the new and current technologies that students are using to consume information.
Richardson, W. (2006). Blogs, wikis, podcasts, and other powerful web tools for classrooms. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.