Educational technology tips for teachers, librarians and schools.

10 Timeless Education Articles for 21st Century Teachers

10 Timeless Education Articles for 21st Century Teachers

By Jessica Sanders

Times are changing—fast. But some things will always stand the test of time.

Good, persuasive writing is one of those things, and these ten education articles prove that—they touch on some of the most important topics in academia, including education technology, parent involvement and the importance of teachers.

Bookmark these and revisit them often to remind yourself where we’ve been, where we’re going and why we advocate for education every single day.

1. The Hardest Part, Peter Greene

“The hard part of teaching is coming to grips with this:

There is never enough.

There is never enough time. There are never enough resources. There is never enough you.

As a teacher, you can see what a perfect job in your classroom would look like. You know all the assignments you should be giving. You know all the feedback you should be providing your students. You know all the individual crafting that should provide for each individual’s instruction. You know all the material you should be covering. You know all the ways in which, when the teachable moment emerges (unannounced as always), you can greet it with a smile and drop everything to make it grow and blossom.”

2. Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants, Marc Prensky

“Today’s average college grads have spent less than 5,000 hours of their lives reading, but over 10,000 hours playing video games (not to mention 20,000 hours watching TV). Computer games, email, the Internet, cell phones and instant messaging are integral parts of their lives.

It is now clear that as a result of this ubiquitous environment and the sheer volume of their interaction with it, today’s students think and process information fundamentally differently from their predecessors. These differences go far further and deeper than most educators suspect or realize.”

3. Broken Ranks, Amy Graham and Nicholas Thompson

“She’s friendly, warm, and matter-of-fact. But she has a revolutionary idea: Colleges should publicly tell people how much learning is achieved on campus. They should do their best to measure it; then they should post the information online. She’s got a file cabinet brimming with manila folders from which it only takes her a second to extract the one that shows the best statistical analysis available on how well her school educates students. This may not seem so subversive, but it is. All over the country, administrators like Gentemann have similar manila folders; they just keep them padlocked in basement safes, forever beyond the reach of students, parents, or reporters.”

4. STEM is incredibly valuable, but if we want the best innovators we must teach the arts, Justin Brady

“We’ve all heard it before, we are facing another crisis. This time it’s one of mammoth proportions, and not the wooly kind. Public education isn’t making the cut as high-tech jobs across the nation go unfilled. What’s a country to do? Knowing this challenge will only compound with time, policy leaders have acted.  To compete in a global market place, our leaders are doing everything in their power to push a focus on STEM education. Sure, it’s great to see our leaders unite under a common goal, but are they going the wrong way down the field?”

5. To improve schools, let teachers run them, David Osborne

“Walk through a typical public school, and you see students, sitting in rows of identical desks, listening to teachers talk. Unless the teacher is particularly inspiring, half of the students are zoning out. This isn’t just a problem for teachers, half of whom leave the profession within their first five years. It’s also a problem for their pupils: Disengaged teenagers do not make the best students.

Now imagine if students were instead encouraged to work on projects they chose: building robots, writing plays, researching why bees are dying off by the millions.

When teachers run their own schools, they often make such changes.”

6. Millions of world’s children still lack access to education, Matt Petronizio

“Despite progress toward the international community’s goal of universal primary education by 2015, millions of children are still without schools around the world, according to a recent report.

Fixing the Broken Promise of Education for All, released last month by UNICEF and the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, found that 58 million children between the ages of 6 and 11 still lack access to education, while 63 million lower secondary school-age adolescents are also out of school.”

7. The War on Teacher Tenure, Haley Sweetland Edwards

“While this newer class of tech philanthropists are in some ways similar to the older generation, they also come to school reform having been steeped in the uniquely modern, libertarian, free-market Wild West of tech entrepreneurship–a world where data and innovation are king, disruption is a way of life, and the gridlock and rules of modern politics are regarded as a kind of kryptonite to how society ought to be.”

8. How Schools Kill Creativity, Ken Robinson (TED Talk)

“Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity.”

9. Neuroplasticity: You Can Teach An Old Brain New Tricks, Daniel Honan

“Your brain is more flexible than we’ve ever thought before. It changes because it is constantly optimizing itself, reorganizing itself by transferring cognitive abilities from one lobe to the other, particularly as you age. After a stroke, for instance, your brain can reorganize itself to move functions to undamaged areas.”

10. Parent Involvement in Schools Matters: A Teacher’s Perspective, Bonnie Lathram

“Success happens when families, students and educators work together and holistically approach a child’s education, focusing on a child’s academic, social, and emotional needs.

So, what does real, meaningful, and collaborative parental involvement look like? Here are some ways to create meaningful parental involvement in our schools.”

BONUS: Kids React to Old Computers

There are few better examples of just how fast time is moving than this short clip of children reacting to the computers that ushered technology into our lives.

Don’t miss some of our timeless education articles on the Learn2Earn Blog too:

Teach your students to love reading with our free, 21st century reading tool, Whooo’s Reading.

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