The message behind the message.
I recently read several blog posts about "what does a 21st century classroom look like?" I'm sure you can do a search or visit Classroom 2.0 to see a wealth of blogs and forum discussions about this topic. Moreover, while at NECC and EdubloggerCon, much of the discussions were centered around the topic of how to get teachers and districts to jump on board the notion of Web 2.0 and embracing the various topics / instructional practices that surround this topic. I won't go into details about that, plenty of discussion around that. See my Diigo site that captures much of the discussions and blogger posts.
David Warlick include on his blog something that really was quite interesting...
My good friend, Gwen Solomon, said something to me at the conference that I’ve heard spoken several times since. “Aren’t these the same conversations we’ve been having for years?”
I guess my connection to this quote was that it really did seem like a broken record conversation to me in that we seem to always keep coming back to the same thing. We need more PD; we need to create 21st century classrooms; we need to get our administrators on boar; we need to change the instituion; we need to change teaching behaviors and so on. We even have images of what an "intelligent classroom" looks like. Let's through more whiteboards and clickers into the classrooms. That will get teacher really using technology effectively in their classrooms.
While I include myself in many of these conversations, it just struck me that maybe we don't need to "reinvent" the classroom or come up with what a 21st century classroom looks like. Maybe we need to have discussions on what a 21st century student looks like and what 21st century teaching and learning looks like inside or outside a "classroom." I don't really think we need to be having discussions around what a classroom looks like or what needs to be included inside a four wall building because in the end we still can have a one-room schoolhouse and teach students to think, reason, create and question. It's what they do beyond the classroom and with others near or far that has a lasting impact. I would like to learn how encompasses a 21st century teaching and learning environment. My images below hint at what I think it could be - anytime, anywhere learning and not just the students.