Software
Pixie Icon

Pixie

Software for student publishing and creativity.

Wixie Icon

Wixie

Online student publishing and creativity platform.

Frames Icon

Frames

Create animations, digital stories, and stop-motion.

Share Icon

Create web sites, epubs, and presentations.

Professional Learning
Services
Pixie Icon

Pixie

Software for student publishing and creativity.

Wixie Icon

Wixie

Online student publishing and creativity platform.

Frames Icon

Frames

Create animations, digital stories, and stop-motion.

Share Icon

Share

Create web sites, epubs, and presentations.

Tech4Learning Blog
Tech4Learning Blog
Tech4Learning Blog
Tech4Learning Blog

The 21st century classroom – where the 3 R’s meet the 4 C’s!

Posted by Melinda Kolk on Mar 30, 2011 2:55:00 PM

Our world is changing and changing rapidly.  But while we often see digital natives on the covers of contemporary magazines, we have students in our classrooms from both sides of the divide.  A 21st century classroom must engage and energize both natives and non-natives, preparing all students to be active participants in our exciting global community.

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Topics: creativity, creative software, engage, 21st century classroom, multimedia, constructivism, collaboration

An Invitation to Expand your Literacy Program

Posted by Joseph Machado on Feb 22, 2011 10:09:00 AM

The integration of creativity software should not be seen as "one more thing I have to do", but instead looked at as a bridge to engage students in furthering their literacy skills.  As teachers begin to give students longer, more academic reading assignments, that is when the emphasis shifts from "learning to read" to "reading to learn", many students lose steam.  So the question becomes, how do we continue to have students be "the little engine that could"?

Do Not Reinvent the Wheel
Teachers should be aware that one does not need to reinvent the wheel in order to be successful with this strategy.  Many textbooks today are filled with extension and skill building activities requiring higher-level thinking and various approaches to 21st century skills, such as problem solving.

Check Out Your Textbook
Teachers may want to take some time to look at the side columns in their student or teacher editions of the textbook and see how creativity software, such as Pixie, can support the ideas already in place to strengthen student literacy.  This is something that can be done with each core content area, as most textbooks will support literacy of sorts within their field.

Houghton-Mifflin Resource Guide
While working with some teachers in California, I took the liberty to peruse the Houghton-Mifflin literature anthology for creative ways to further engage the staff and their students.  What I found were a wealth of extension and skill based activities that the teachers were bypassing due to time.  The staff and I collaborated on how we could infuse these ideas with Tech4Learning software during their monthly themes and not add an additional workload.  The result is this document filled with a wealth of extension and skill building ideas whether you use Houghton-Mifflin or not.

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Topics: pixie, creativity, creativity software, engage, literacy, 21st century classroom, productivity software, technology integration, constructivism

A Constructivist Classroom is a 21st Century Classroom

Posted by Joseph Machado on Feb 4, 2011 10:19:00 AM

In the Spring 2011 issue of Creative Educator I wrote a piece titled "Developing 21st Century Learning Environments".  The article discusses our traditional notion of learning environments revolving around places and spaces and how an effective learning environment does not have to be limited to these things.  The classroom of today should look much different from that of the past.

Today individuals are finding new ways of being and functioning in the 21st century that look much different from those of generations before.  Mindfulness is on the rise and not just by those who embark on the path of yoga or meditation.  Today schools are focusing more on social and emotional skills with their student population.  Helping them to be aware and mindful of what they are feeling and how to self-regulate those emotions in order to sustain themselves with the demands of the classroom and world today.  In other words giving students the ability and skills to construct their own way of being.  Sound familiar?!  

A constructivist classroom fosters critical thinking, flexibility, creativity, active learning, and more.  All of which are standards of what a 21st century classroom should reflect.  It is not just about technology, as the Creative Educator article reinforces.  To sustain a 21st century classroom educators need to move from a transmissional instructional practice to a constructivist and transactional model.  I believe in order for students to be successful in and out of the classroom today we need to create learning environments that give students the permission to construct knowledge, not receive it.

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Topics: 21st century classroom, professional development, constructivism

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