I recently watched the above video Digital Media – New Learners of the 21st Century which discusses digital media and how it is being used in various learning programs and schools today. Although all of the programs from the video are noteworthy, one learning program which really stood out to me from the video was the program at the Science Leadership Academy (SLA) in Philadelphia, PA. I believe that this program really encompasses all of the 4Cs, which are critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and creativity. I have outlined below how each of these areas are met through the program at SLA.
Critical Thinking is huge in these classrooms due to their open access to the internet and other digital media tools. It seems that SLA students are asked to think critically and outside of the box on just about each and every project they are assigned. For example – students are not simply asked to give a report on a historical event, they are assigned the task of critically thinking about what a change in history would mean for our world today and completing a creative project on the matter through online research.
Collaboration and communication are made much easier due to the various digital media options made available to students at SLA. In particular, access to tools such as chat rooms, forums, and google documents make collaboration and communication in their classrooms that much easier to master in this modern technology-driven age. Students are able to collaborate on projects by utilizing these tools both inside the classroom, and out. Students are able to communicate with one another through the chat and forum features available. These forums provide a much needed space for students to comment and offer constructive feedback to one another.
Creativity appears to be one of the absolute key components of how the program at SLA works and is successful. The school allows students to explore their academic interests while utilizing various creative outlets. For example, a teacher may give a particular assignment, but students are able to produce different types of end products. One student may do a film or podcast, while another may decide to draw or sketch theirs. The students are given all of the tools to succeed and flourish creatively at SLA, they just need to choose which tools they wish utilize in order to mold their own path.
*For those of you who are interested in more content regarding the 4Cs, please feel free to visit my previous blog post about how I incorporated them into classroom activity ideas!