S17 EDUC 57110 Authentic Innovation in the 21st Century Classroom

S17 EDUC 57110 Authentic Innovation in the 21st Century Classroom

Distance Education
3 Credits / Graded A-F
Credit through Alaska Pacific University
Self-paced, start anytime

Today’s global high-tech world requires instruction and assessment that incorporate the latest social, learning, and neuroscience research on critical thinking, multi-tasking, multimodal learning, collaboration, and engagement. From classroom footage and lectures educators will learn how to use technologically advanced tools that extend students’ thinking by serving as a means to explore ideas, research questions, test hypotheses, compose thoughts, and come to conclusions. Educators will learn to teach their students to use these tools as vehicles for exploring rigorous academic concepts in authentic environments—i.e., the world around them. They will help their students become genuine innovators who will thrive in the 21st century culture of collaboration.

Course Outline
Unit 1:  21st Century Learning 
Educators, business leaders, and policymakers in the U.S. are increasingly questioning the relevancy of the Pre K-12 school experience in preparing students for life in the 21st century. Educators will learn from presenter Cheryl Lemke how to create 21st century learning environments in their classrooms that cull from research about how students learn best, what skills they need in the digital age, and how and why to incorporate technological innovations. They will begin their exploration into authentic learning—i.e., learning with real-world relevance—through videos of exemplary classroom examples. 

Unit 2: Democratization of Knowledge 
The Internet has provided the “man [and woman] on the street” the means by which to access large numbers of databases, courses, books, publications, experts, and other information sources. Information and knowledge has thus been democratized – available to the masses. Access was formerly available only through formal schooling. If all students have access to such information, do the roles of the school, teacher, and student change? If so, how? And how can teachers shift practices to tap into the power of such universal access? This session will provide examples of the range of digital resources available to today’s students and how such access shifts the roles and responsibilities of teachers. As teachers take on new roles and accept these changes, they succeed in modernizing schools and learning. 

Unit 3: Collaboration and Teaming 
Much of the power of the Internet—e.g., in social networking, blogging, and tweeting—is in the possibilities it creates for communication, collaboration, and interactivity. What does that mean for education? Over the past decade educators have increasingly acknowledged that learning is a social phenomenon. While research from the past 30 years has demonstrated that collaborative or cooperative learning trumps competitive or individual learning, many teachers have yet to incorporate such collaborative or cooperative strategies into their daily learning environments. This unit will establish a framework for the elements essential to effective collaborative learning. It will provide examples of how such collaborative learning can be facilitated through digital innovations and simple ways to get started. 

Unit 4: Critical/Lateral Thinking 
Among the 21st century skills most important to students' futures is critical thinking—i.e., applying reason and logic using established, scientific evidence and methods, to increase the probability of a desirable outcome. Young citizens need to think increasingly critically in this complex age of globalization, interdependence among nations, and sophisticated systems and challenges. Critical (or lateral) thinking enables students to analyze situations; decide what information, evidence, and algorithms are most applicable; and then apply them with fidelity. Educators will learn tips and techniques to use in their classrooms as they tap digital innovations to engage students in critical thinking across the academic disciplines. 

Unit 5 : Creative/Vertical Thinking 
Creative thinking is as essential as critical thinking for success in the digital age; in fact, says Lemke, the differentiators in today's economy are creativity and innovation. Educators will learn how to incorporate creative (or vertical) thinking into students' repertoires, even as they extend their students' critical thinking skills. Through PowerPoint lectures, interviews with students and teachers, and exemplary student projects, educators will learn methods to help their students develop attitudes, behaviors, and techniques inherent to creativity and innovation. 

Unit 6: Authentic Learning 
Researcher Dr. Fred Newmann notes that when teachers give students intellectually stimulating assignments, standardized test scores in mathematics and language arts increase significantly. Newmann also identifies three critical characteristics in these assignments that make them, in his and others’ terms, authentic: profound (as opposed to surface) learning, relevant beyond the classroom, and involving tangible knowledge construction by the student. In this unit, Lemke showcases, through discussion and model student projects, digital innovations that provide the vehicle for bringing authenticity into the classroom. 

Unit 7: Multimodal Learning 
Today’s students are bombarded with multisensory, multimodal communications. While many schools are concentrating on text-based learning, students are dealing with an onslaught of multimedia sensory input in their everyday lives. They need to learn the grammar and syntax of visuals and sounds in the context of text. Presenter Cheryl Lemke portrays the goals of multimodal learning as helping students to become informed consumers, composers/producers of multimedia, and visual and multimodal thinkers. From lecture and exemplary student projects, educators will learn the principles of multimodal design along with examples of how these principles can be applied in the classroom to increase the effectiveness of communications in ways that ratchet up learning. 

Unit 8: Getting Started—21st Century Innovations That Matter
This last session brings Dr. Lemke’s teachings together under the umbrella of “classroom structures to engage students in deep learning.” Teachers will consider ten key elements that could be incorporated into their classrooms tomorrow that embody the innovations discussed during the course. Inspiring examples of teachers creating innovative projects and showcasing student work are offered as examples of exemplary teaching and learning. Dr. Lemke challenges educators to “get started” making these exciting changes in their schools and classrooms. 

Grading Policy
A: 3.4 – 4.0 
B: 2.7 – 3.3 
C: 2.3 – 2.6
D: 2.0 – 2.2 
F: <2.0


Contact Information

  • Phone: 907-364-3809
    Email: asdn@alaskaacsa.org

Payment Instructions

  • Tuition:  

    $460 for Tier One Member Districts *

    $510 for Tier Two Member Districts

    *Click here to see if your district is a Tier One or Tier Two member.

    You may pay by 
    • VISA
    • MasterCard
    • American Express
    • Discover Card

    Course Completion Policy
    From the date of registration, registrants have a minimum of 30 days and a maximum of one year to complete the course.  Per Alaska Pacific University policy, grades will not be submitted before the 30 day minimum period.

    Cancellation Policy
    Any and all cancellations of ASDN Distance Education courses, within 30 days of registration, will result in a $90 cancellation fee. No refunds will be issued after 30 days.