May 10, 2012 by PC Munoz

21st century technology

"Creating a New Culture of Teaching and Learning" is a Scientific Learning webinar presented by Alan November, proposing that educators make the most of today's "small world" by turning classrooms into global communication centers and collaborating with fellow teachers and studentsfrom all over the world.

November's ideas about a new culture of teaching and learning are plentiful, as are his suggestions for further research. In this webinar, November proposes a pathway to a 21st century educational paradigm that is centered around information, collaboration, and empathy.  Here are just a few of his thoughts on the subject:


Schools ought to abolish their "technology planning committees," which focus on "stuff" (wires, boxes, hardware).  Alternatively, educational institutions should simply understand technologyas the "digital plumbing" that works hand in hand with what November calls the "real revolution": the large amounts of information that flow through technology.


The educational experience can and should be supercharged with true collaboration. Collaboration can take place in the classroom itself, such as when certain students are tasked with the daily documentation of classroom activities via collaborative note taking, videography, and photography. Or, collaboration can take place across thousands of miles if teachers take the time to find classrooms in other parts of the world that are willing to work with a partner classroom on a given project. For example, a classroom in the US studying the American Revolution partnering with a classroom in the UK studying the same thing could help learners understand and respect differing perspectives.


When he asked the CEO of HSBC Bank in England what the most important "21st century skill" is, November received the surprising reply, "empathy." Empathy, the ability to identify with others and value their perspectives, is a crucial life skill in today's small world, for both students and teachers. Empathy helps teachers build relationships with educators in various parts of the world and encourages young people to become fearless global communicators who are able to work with anyone.

More than once during his presentation, November states that he hopes his ideas are "good enough to critique."  He clearly sees the ideas he proposes as a jumping-off point for further exploration and conversation about how to make the most of our era's hyperconnectivity.

No matter where you are in today's small, small world, you’ll want to check out the entire webinar…and you can.  Click here.

Alan November is an international leader in education technology known for his compelling thought leadership.  He passionately challenges teachers and administrators to harness 21st century technology and create learning opportunities to prepare young people for an open, connected, and engaged future.

Related Reading:

How to Motivate Students: The Psychology of Success

5 Reasons Why Your Students Should Write Every Day