7 Key Ingredients in the successful 21st Century ClassroomPosted by Vicki Davis
Every modern school should have at least 4 things in technology or take off the modern and just call yourself a school:
- a STEM Lab.
If you want to make it STEAM - Science Technology Engineering, Arts, and Math, then go right ahead! You've still got STEM and you can't have technology without the arts. Some are getting rid of their "computer" labs (which I think is a huge mistake). The argument is that every teacher should integrate technology. The problem is that every teacher doesn't, can't, won't or isn't.
A STEM lab not only focuses on the technology but the Engineering, Math, and Science and critical thinking technology-app infused decision making required in our Higher Order thinking world. The best example is the interview with my friend Kevin Jarrett who removed his elementary computer lab and put in a STEM Lab. I'm all in, Kevin, you've convinced me.
It stresses me out to think what I'm doing to myself but I'm in the process of proposing that I no longer be called the computer lab but the STEAM lab. I'm willing to do what it takes to rewrite my curriculum. If I believe it, I've got to do it. I'll never settle for the same thing I taught last year but only to do the right thing for my students. It will still include genius projects and Flat Classroom, that is for sure.
See Turning Elementary Computer Labs into STEM Labs an interview with Kevin Jarrett, elementary STEM lab teacher
- Genius Hour.
Twenty per cent personal interest projects (some call this genius hour) are VITAL. Students spend 20% of their time on a personal interest project that they propose and teachers coach. I first saw this when I spoke in Evansville, Indiana. They require their seniors to do a personal interest project taking at least 100 hours. (See the video from Dantae Thrash below, the Evansville student who blew me away.)