The classroom of the 21st century

I like the approach used by Lina Lane, the History instructor. Since the students’ age and background vary widely, she was able to install a class setting that seem to fit everyone. As a Grade 5 teacher in the 21st century, I understand that is where I have to aim. My intention was already to have my students better use the new technologies individually (i.e. having them self reflect about how they use the technologies), and also in a more collaborative way (i.e. creating padlets to share ideas). Another of my intention was to create class that use provocations tools to have my students more engaged. I would like to use short clips, images, art pieces, etc. (i.e. all kind of multimodal texts) to start a lesson or an unit and to have them react and ask questions, instead of only me leading the course. Moreover, since this excellent course taken 2 weeks ago here at Uvic about having an Inquiry Mindset  when we teach, I really want to engage my students by having them asking essential questions and trying to answer them by using all kind of means possible (with the use technology of course, but also art, skits, cartoons, comics, blogs, padlets, etc.). This is what I believe the class of the 21st century should be. And through that, I would also like to give the theory (i.e. in French: grammar, expanded vocabulary, reading, writing skills, self-reflection skills) and assess them. But always through the scope of an Inquiry Mindset that is more engaging and exciting.

Here is a quote from Lisa Lane and I share her views regarding pedagogy in our digital era: My pedagogy is balanced between presentation and interactivity. Each week consists of context readings (often from Wikipedia) and lectures. My lectures are detailed and contain audio sections (with me reading the lecture), images, video clips, and links to primary-source documents. A multiple-choice quiz is assigned to check the students’ comprehension of the content of the presentation portion.

Thus, this is the kind of setting I will start to put in place in my classroom in next September. A classroom with an open and versatile desks’ arrangement that allows us to switch quickly from an activity to another or that allows students to work individually or collaboratively with the means they chose (digital, art, written, spoken, etc.). Also, I would like to have this kind of message board where we can share messages, ideas, questions, etc. It can be a physical wall (a billboard with messages) or an electronic wall (padlets).

Then my job is simply to circulate in the classroom, helping students to achieve their tasks, sharing ideas with them or making sure they share with their classmates. In brief, fostering curiosity, a desire to learn and fostering good self-autonomous work habits. This kind of project is certainly exciting but first we must start by having our students (especially at a younger age) aware of their responsibilities (respect, work habits, desire to share, to make mistakes and to try again). Once we feel that they understand their responsibilities, let’s them start having fun learning.


Inquiry Mindset: Nurturing the Dreams, Wonders, and Curiosities of Our Youngest Learners by Trevor MacKenzie (Author), Rebecca Bathurst-Hunt (Author)