In our technological world we have, for the first time, the capability to teach students how to use the strengths and passions of their inner world to make the outer world a better place. This is why the experience of art, music, drama, dance and sports education is essential. It is up to adults to help students make keys for the door of their inner world; to show them how to find the personal energy to address the whyâ€™s and the howâ€™s of todayâ€™s challenges.
After a successful school beginning, I carefully planned my presentation to parents at back-to-school night. After my talk, one of the parents came up to me, extended his hand, and said with a grin from ear to ear, â€œHi, I am Seamus Oâ€™Hare! What are you?â€ I had NO idea what to do with his question.
Along with creativity, collaboration, and communication, critical thinking is one of the four components of learning in the 21st century. Unlike the other three, critical thinking is often difficult to reduce to bite-size pieces of understanding and challenging to teach to others.
A great many of our students today can count on communicating at a global level throughout their adult lives. It’s our responsibility as educators of 21st century learners to help them become very aware of and sensitive to the cultural and behavioral differences that are inevitable when communication can take place instantaneously from any two or more points across the planet Earth.
Face to face conversations are part of how human beings have interacted since the beginning of time. They will never go away even though the barrage of technology greatly expands how we communicate with one another. That said, I believe educators need to teach both ways of communication to students. We are obliged to do this because, as educators, we are preparing our students for the jobs of the future — and for lives in a digitally shifted world.