21st Century Teaching and Learning in Language Arts
21st Century Teaching and Learning in Language Arts, a six session professional development online course, provides resources that will enable teachers to integrate 21st Century skills and technology tools into language arts lessons to prepare today's students to compete globally. Participants in this course will be introduced to 21st Century skills and tools and learn how they can be used in the language arts classroom. Participants in this course will complete an instructional plan that includes 21st Century skills and tools.
This is an introductory course for teachers, technology specialists, curriculum specialists, professional development specialists and administrators. Participants are expected to have regular access to computers. Although not a requirement, high speed Internet access definitely enhances the online experience. Participants should be proficient with using email, browsing the Internet, and navigating through computer files. Access to Microsoft Office is recommended. Participants who do not have access to Microsoft Office should download Open Office documents (a free download from Microsoft) to enable them to read and send word documents throughout this course.
This course will enable participants to:
understand 21st Century communication and collaboration skills,
understand 21st Century thinking skills,
understand 21st Century assessments,
understand 21st Century instructional models,
recognize 21st Century tools and resources and
understand the role of the teacher as a facilitator of 21st Century thinking and learning.
Assessment and Course Requirements
Each session includes readings, activities and a discussion assignment which participants are required to complete. High-quality, active participation in the online discussions is vital to the understanding and completion of the course. Additionally, participants will develop portions of the Final Project. A mid-course check will take place during Session Three of the course.
As the final project for this course, participants will choose a language arts lesson they currently teach or have taught and transform it into a 21st Century lesson using the provided template. Participants may also elect to create a new lesson. Either should be appropriate for the grade(s) you teach. This lesson should reflect methods, tools and strategies of instruction presented in this course, should address WV CSO’s and ISTE standards. Participants should expect to spend a minimum of 4 hours per week meeting weekly requirements of workshop readings, activities and discussions (total of 24 hours). A minimum of 21 additional hours will be required to satisfy the course project requirement. The total workshop requirements represent a minimum 45 hours. During each session, participants will complete one or more portions of a Lesson Plan Template and will enter reflective notes in a word processing (Microsoft Word recommended) journal as described in Session One.
Participants will be evaluated weekly on the frequency and quality of their participation in the discussion forum. Participants are required to post a minimum of three substantial postings each session, including one that begins a new thread and two that respond to existing threads. Postings that begin new threads will be reviewed based on their relevance, demonstrated understanding of course concepts, examples cited, and overall quality. Postings that respond to other participants will be evaluated on relevance and the degree to which they extend the discussion. Participants are to read all original messages by course colleagues and enough additional responses to make a total of 50% of the messages posted for that session.
Session One: Communication and Collaboration Skills
In this session, participants will investigate how 21st Century communication and collaboration skills enrich teaching and learning in the language arts classroom. Participants will read a description of one teacher's successful activities with literature circles and will study a writing lesson that requires student collaboration. Participants will view a template and begin their design of a language arts lesson that encourages student learning through the use of 21st Century tools, skills, content, and context. They will also begin a Word file as a journal to hold their thinking about various ideas gathered from course sessions.
Session Two: Enhancing Thinking Skills
In this session, participants will explore how 21st Century thinking skills can enhance the level of thinking and increase students’ learning in the language arts classroom. Participants will explore lessons that require high level thinking and will gain insight into opportunities for promoting high level thinking and achievement of their students.
Session Four: Evaluating and Applying Instructional Models
In this session, participants will evaluate instructional models for evidence of 21st Century teaching and learning in language arts. Participants will analyze the Frameworks for High Performing 21st Century Classrooms as well as research ways to support successful teaching and learning through the use of 21st Century skills and tools as they develop their final project.
Session Five: Utilizing Tools and Resources
In this session, participants will investigate 21st Century tools and resources that can be utilized to enhance teaching strategies and classroom culture into 21st Century learning environments. Participants will explore online resources that offer a variety of strategies and tools for the language arts classroom and determine how some of these can be used in their own instruction.
Session Six: Designing and Facilitating the 21st Century Classroom
In this session, participants will examine the evolving role of the teacher in the 21st Century classroom as it relates to language arts. Participants will complete and share their final project for peer review and submit the finalized work to the facilitator for feedback.