Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Champions of Ubiquity!

And We’re Off and Running!

Many of my colleagues and friends are starting school tomorrow here in the Northeast, and some of you have started already! I thought I would create a “Back 2 School” Blog Post with an idea for starting the year off on the right foot.

I’d like to first have you consider whether technology itself is worthy of being a set of “skills” that we must develop. The usage of “21st Century Skills” is quickly becoming a banal phrase and only carries as much meaning as the person who says it is committed to its meaning…and there are multiple meanings and interpretations!

That said, isn’t technology so infused for our students now that saying that we’re going to use it is like saying the movie we are going to go and see is “in color?” Isn’t it a given? (At least for the kids?)

So, I’d like to ask you to commit to being a “Champion of Ubiquity” this coming year. Assume the technology is a framework for everything you do or everything you offer to your students. Let your teaching methodologies and student assessment products be menu items rather than set in stone artifacts and modalities.
Give your students opportunities to design their own instruction based on their experiences, based on their own readiness and interest, or any other platform from which you might consider differentiating yourself. (You know this stuff…why should you be doing all the work?!?!? Let the kids be tired at the end of the day from their hard work—not you!)

Make a difference this year by becoming the teacher you wish you had, or by making instructional design choices that truly benefit the 21st Century Learner (including yourself!) The “21st Century” isn’t about the transference of information – it’s about the sharing of information and the collective creation of something new from that. It doesn’t matter what the label is on the learner…whether they are the teacher or the student or the administrator or anyone who wants to be in the process! Everybody is a learner now—that’s really what the 21st Century is all about!

Here's to a great year!

CC image from SXC.HU user: samlevan



  1. 21st Century Road block-

    In working to become a proficient 21st Century educator, I feel that many of my colleagues hold back the implementation and collaboration needed to help our students become 21st Century learners. The road that is being traveled by many and is in clear sight is being avoided and detours are taken within the classroom due to inability, fear, and lack of motivation in regard to technology. As the new school year kicks off I am striving to become what you call a Champion of Ubiquity, but find that it is hard due to the veteran/traditional based instruction present within my current teaching position. The lack of resources, professional development, and instruction for all teachers is being overlooked by the administrators just like it is another initiative that usually goes by the way side.
    In my efforts I am not one to give up, but am looking for advice and ideas that help motivate even the most incompetent teachers in regards to technology and adaptation towards 21st century skills. What can I do to help my own co-teacher understand the importance of the new technology that is at our finger tips and what can I do to also help the administrators get training and development needed to help all our teachers and students to become life-long learners.

  2. Thanks for your comments, Vince. They echo what 90% of the folks that read this blog are thinking. The easy answer is to show by example. Do what you think is the right thing and celebrate the successes you have. The hard answer is to show by example, and then actually volunteer to go into another teacher's classroom and show them how it works, IN. THE. MOMENT. (And with their students.)

    Also...don't feel like you have to do all of this yourself. What about asking the kids? They are the easiest source of good teaching practices. They know what they like and they definitely know the world they live in. Bring them into your world and let them contribute. If you (and your colleagues) let the students be the teacher--you never what kind of amazing things you might discover!

    -Mike Fisher