About

Learning in the 21st century. The manner in which we find out about the world has shifted in fundamental ways. I can engage in the process of inquiry wherever I have wi-fi access and some kind of a computing system. Just today, I used the internet to find posters from nineteenth century England when a book I was reading included illustrations of several but I wanted to see more. I also used the Bodleian library website to find more information about the topic I was researching–and then I ordered books from other respositories that will be sent to my university library. The combination of old and new technologies presents exciting new opportunities to learn, and I find myself being able to dig deeper into a topic more quickly than I ever imagined when I was an undergraduate scanning the card catalog. 
Learning today requires the mastery of strategies like filtering and synthesis. Moreover, we need to understand that we engage in the processes of learning publicly: asking questions, receiving information from experts, communicating what we learn in new formats, and leaving behind a record of our learning in a number of emerging forums and genres. 
Though schools exist that capitalize on these new ways of learning, too often schools are stuck in the past–without the funding, infrastructure, and license to take advantage of all the tools that rapid technological progress affords. The result is that schools risk losing relevance and the ability to influence today’s global citizen. Our professional responsibility is to help students negotiate these new paths to learning. 
As a teacher of future teachers, I constantly have to balance my approach to assure that my students can function well in a variety of educational environments. I firmly believe that at some point, all schools will embrace 21st literacies and learning–and that it’s my responsibility to help future teachers feel comfortable and competent in their role as teachers in this century. The result is that I’m constantly learning and trying out new technologies in my curriculum.
In addition to this website, check out my digital humanities projects: Julia Pastrana Online and the blog where I blog about dh. 

 

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