The 2011 Horizon Report
What is on the Horizon for my PLE and the future of education for my students who will interact with it? As I mentioned in a previous blog to my students… teaching and learning, in the 21 st century, challenges us to create, link, and think in smarter and more powerful ways!
So, Anything’s Possible with the positive direction and attitude that I’ve already taken and incorporated through the building of my PLE, my website, and through the creation of a course in the Learning Management System (LMS) now, famously known, as Moodle! My Horizon has been already broadened to some degree due to the recent implementation of more innovative skills, creative tasks, and learning objectives showcased throughout these digital networking systems. The dedication and determination I applied to my PLE project, has allowed me to secure a higher level of confidence to work with more advanced technological tools and strategies. Previously, in my website’s vision, I made this statement that was, at that time, an indirect statement that addressed the broadening of my horizons. This is what I said and, now, really mean:
I’m envisioning why and how educators must partake in a mental, emotional, and physical shift to grasp the idea that “then was then” and “now is now”. With the future of education in sight, educators can surrender outdated methodologies by sorting through their personal challenges to transform their best practices and repertoires for teaching and learning to bring about necessary and positive change in their current learning environments. I can already see the shift in the students’ faces and attitudes as they interact with their teachers in more innovative ways….
–>HERE’S THE POINT<–
Seeing the light that emerges from the puzzles pieces that we must engage in assembling, metaphorically, brings US closer to the BIG Picture. This a more complete picture of exactly what the future holds for both teachers and students in any educational arena. Shifts and/or changes must occur in more realistic and systematic ways to heighten the excitement, appreciation, and love for learning-a major rationale for Luv2Learn.net throughout the rest of 2012 and beyond.
This earlier drafted statement does bring the Horizon I wish to broaden into view. Over the next 6 to 12 months, I can now envision how my students will link into my PLE and my Moodle courses to make an academic, creative, and attitudinal shift in order to learn their subject matter as the true NetGener population should in the 21st century. Skimming and scanning through the 2011 Horizon Report is always an eye-opening experience for educators especially. The vast addition of digital and virtual tools, programs, and strategies to any modern day academic curriculum, certainly, requires a reality check for educators in the area of strategic planning. Integrating the perfect combination of skills and outcomes that stem from my PLE’s designed pages, my Moodle courses’ activities, and The Horizon Report’s highlighted information will become the critical objective while planning for future lessons. D. Tapscott promotes Seven Tips for Educators (2009, p. 286) in his book, Grown Up Digital. He designates step number 6 to design educational programs according to the eight norms (p. 287). He states, in reference to students, that there should be choice, customization, transparency, integrity, collaboration, fun, speed, and innovation in their learning experiences. He continues by saying that an educator should leverage the strengths of Net Gen culture and behaviors in project- based learning. This step will become the motivator for the development of this website in more comprehensive and intriguing ways due to its capability and reliability to become the actual linkage or medium to the digital world and social media networks for my prepared and deserving students .
To be a true future ready teacher, I must begin to predict and plan how a variety of emerging technologies exemplified throughout The Horizon Report could be recognized, linked to, and utilized through my website and/or Moodle courses. For instance, once the report references the dramatic effects that Electronic Books and Mobiles can have the most current learning experiences for students, most teachers could not ignore their value in any classroom setting. This report points out that now that they are firmly established in the consumer sector, electronic books are beginning to demonstrate capabilities that challenge the very definition of reading. Audiovisual, interactive, and social elements enhance the informational content of books and magazines. Social tools extend the reader’s experience into the larger world, connecting readers with one another and enabling deeper, collaborative explorations of the text. The content of electronic books and the social activities they enable, rather than the device used to access them, are the keys to their popularity; nearly everyone carries some device that can function as an electronic reader, and more people are engaging with electronic books than ever before (2011, p. 8).
By revealing and digging deeper into this particular “emerging technology”, I have been able to get the attention of my school district’s Central Office regarding the restrictions placed on YouTube and the addition of a Virtual Library. I have faced the reality that Electronic Books would be too costly for my school program’s budget; so, adding these features to be visible and interactive through my PLE and Moodle course will open up a new, exciting, and engaging venue for my students to read, comprehend, and learn electronically. The myriad of reading and collaborative activities planned for my ELA and Social Studies classes will be incredibly enhanced through these necessary links/connections. This is just an example for how to find one-two of the essential yet missing puzzle pieces to encourage equitable learning for all! There is no doubt that the students will fall short of being excited and enlightened by interacting with their reading activities and long-term projects this way.
Horizons will be broadened some more because the innovative thinking, creating, and experimenting CANNOT stop here. Ethel Barrymore, a famous actress back at the turn of the 19th to the 20th century, said it BEST:
“You must learn day by day, year by year to broaden your horizon. The more things you love, the more you are interested in, the more you enjoy, the more you are indignant about, the more you have left when anything happens.”
Developing a PLE is a work in progress. My graduate professor, Debby Kurti, who guided and inspired me through its development, just recently reminded me of this key point. Its customization of features and revelation of ideas must be in tune with the audience it serves. My students and my colleagues are a vital part of this audience. Through its title, Luv2Learn, the value placed on learning “day by day” and “year by year” has been emphasized in a multitude of ways so far. However, as the quote points out, there are other factors involved in broadening those horizons in 21st century education. Those factors must involve the integration of…what you love, what you are interested in, what you enjoy, and, even, what makes you indignant or offended. Creating and enabling digital features in a PLE empowers both teachers and students to become pioneers of 21st century teaching and learning.
Referencing the 2011 Horizon Report prefaces the sense of empowerment that stems from the availability and applications of electronic tools and strategies. Locating and reading through current articles, especially for educators, will also have a positive effect on the changes and “shifts” that must occur in order to get creative and innovative goals met.
Here is a hyperlink to the many editions of Eduweek: Digital Directions (2012): http://www.edweek.org/dd/?intc=thed. In its sections, tabs, and pages, you will find a number of current and past articles that embrace the effects of new technological advances that foster richer and even more challenged 21st century educational environments. It is a great resource to develop a better understanding of a teacher’s requirements and responsibilities to improve his/her skills and strategies and/or to have a “voice” to bring about change in his/her classrooms now and in the future.
In closing, I would like to leave you with this impressionable quote by Maya Angelou, a prophetic, female, American poet that harnesses the meaning behind “broadening one’s horizons” through change:
“The horizon leans forward, offering you space to place new steps of change.” ~Maya Angelou
When WE are open to the idea of moving forward and making the necessary changes or shifts in our attitudes or thinking (since the horizon leaves space for that), especially about the future of education, we can arrive at more innovative strategies or methods to live, teach, and, most importantly, to LEARN by. A real future ready educator must make a commitment to creating, thinking, and linking in smarter and more powerful ways!
Let Me Know What You Think….
Education Week Digital Directions. Balancing Innovation and Technology. Vol. 04,
Issue Spring/Summer 2011. Retrieved from: edweek.org
Johnson, L. Smith, R., Willis, H., Levine, A., and Haywood, K., (2011). The Horizon Report. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium
Tapscott, D. (2009). Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation is Changing Your World. New York: McGraw Hill Companies.
Thinkexist.com quotations. (1999-2012). Retreived from: http://thinkexist.com/quotes/with/keyword/horizon/2.html