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Reflecting on 21st Century Skills  Technologies - What will your 21st Century Classroom Look Like

Page history last edited by Kimberly Young 14 years, 2 months ago

Unit Objectives:  

During this unit, you will:  

  • identify other technologies that can be used to teach/practice 21st century skills 
  • reflect on knowledge/skills acquired through the course 


Activity 1: Technological Exploration

There are many other technologies beyond GoogleEarth and Blogs that are available and can be used to teach, practice, and apply 21st century skills.  Below, there are descriptions of other technologies and links to related resources.  Although there is no formal instruction on these technologies, you may find that some of them will be extremely useful in your classroom - EXPLORE!


  • SMART Boards: Interactive Whiteboards - Although these are an investment, many schools are now replacing chalkboards and white boards with these interactive White Boards.   Interactivity is key in this technology. Students and teachers can manipulate objects on the screen, write on the board and then save the writing, among many other actions.  Check out Smarttech's website below and the links to other helpful resources:



EXCELLENT SITE on the usefulness of SMART Boards:



  • Google Docs -  is an online document storage site.  While it is free for personal use, schools can purchase a license to use GoogleDocs on a large-scale level.  Teachers and students can upload documents, collaborate on documents, write new documents online (gets rid of the excuse "I don't have that Word Processing Software).  I've found it is helpful to monitor student work (on essays or other tasks) and as a document collaborator, I can provide instantaneous feedback.  GoogleDocs works excellent for group work, also!




A good youtube video on GoogleDocs "Google Docs in Plain English" : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRqUE6IHTEA


Google Docs for educators: http://www.google.com/educators/p_docs.html


  • Turnitin.com is web-based paper submission, revision, and assessment software.  Students can submit documents online and the software checks the document against websites, publications, books, and other student papers available on the internet and previously submitted papers for similarity and gives students an "originality report."  (Great for helping to teach about plagairism). In addition, there is a peer review option that allows students to review other students' papers in a structured manner (the teacher selects questions/content to be reviewed - great for building an collaborative environment).  Furthermore, there is a built in assessment tool that teachers can use to grade work and provide feedback instantly.  Again, this is a fee based website, but it can be an extremely helpful teaching tool and environmentally friendly.


Introduction to turnitin.com: http://turnitin.com/static/products.html 

Below is an interesting article on turnitin.com. Although some of the discussion is extremely negative, I think this article gives us something to think about.

http://blog.turnitin.com/2010/02/does-turnitin-detect-plagiarism-2/ Afterall, doesn't every technology have its flaws?


Activity 2: Final Reflection

Hopefully, by this point you have a good understanding of what it means to have a 21st century classroom.  In addition, you have been introduced to several technologies that you may find useful in your classroom.  As the course is now at its end, its time for one final reflection.  Please answer the following questions based on your experiences in this course and in your classroom.  Post in the comment section below:

  1. What 21st century skills do you see as priorities? Explain. 
  2. What specific actions are you taking/plan on taking to address 21st century skills in your classroom? 
  3. How helpful will GoogleEarth and Blogs be in your instrucction?
  4. What other technologies do you plan on using? 


Thank you for participating in this course.  Any further feedback you have would be greatly appreciated (post in comment box below).


References and Resources


Return to Course Main Page: 21st Century Skills and Technology in the Social Studies Classroom

Return to My Portfolio Page: Kimberly Young's Portfolio Page


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