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Technology and 21st Century Learning


21st Century Skills do not replace content knowledge. Rather, they are complementary building blocks to help students gain knowledge in ways that are more engaging. The convergence of data, voice, graphics, and live video on low-end computers and smartphones is providing real-time information access and exchange in schools. While this course is an overview, in-depth workshops on specific skills or technologies can be provided


We can and should be dazzled by the ways that technology can elevate interest or ease the discovery of information or the solution of problems. Yet it is important to make sure that the addition of technology is going to enhance a particular topic or be introduced in such a way that the students are inspired to pursue more information’”rather than feel that the technology substitutes for their need to think and process ideas.


Beyond content delivery, learning can be enhanced by connections students make with peers or experts in other parts of the world. In addition, real-time sharing of data or opinions in class can provide a fresh way for students to learn and interact.


Key Points

  • While breakthroughs in computer and cell phone technology may be slowing down, the hardware continues to be redesigned in ways that often improve functionality and expand classroom use.

  • Current students have grown up in a world with computers and cell phones, so they obviously take the technology for granted.

  • Not all technologies will suit all students or all domains all the time. Inasmuch as some novelists still compose with pen and paper (or have returned to pen and paper), flexibility in using or experimenting with types of technology can lead to the most effective classroom uses.




Suzan Mullane, Orinthia Harris, Christine Mason


Suzan Mullane has over 20 years teaching experience, Pre-K-12. Ms. Mullane is an Adjunct Professor of Education at the University of Alaska in Anchorage, has been a school counselor and helped to develop and coordinate Anchorage’s STEM initiative. She is an expert in autism, gifted education and Special Education and has conducted numerous teacher workshops on those topics as well as at-risk youth, teacher mentoring, and STEM. In 2011 she received the North Star Service Recognition Award for her work with at-risk youth in Anchorage.

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