Sunday, May 3, 2009

Defining Teach 2.0

Teach 2.0 refers to a set of instructional methodologies (e.g., collaborative problem-solving, cooperative learning, issues- based instruction) that have demonstrated the greatest success among today’s digital natives when used in conjunction with Web 2.0 resources. Unfortunately, many classrooms are still encased in Teach 1.0 methodologies (e.g., didactic instruction, sequential and uniform teaching materials, traditional forms of assessment) which tend to minimize the potential impact of today’s Web 2.0 collaborative technologies (e.g., GoogleDocs, Blogger, Wikispaces) on student learning.

Many of the Teach 2.0 methodologies have their genesis in the Social and the Information-Processing family of teaching strategies popularized by Joyce and Weil’s book, Models of Teaching. The Social family refers to specific teaching methodologies that generate a collective energy through learning communities called synergy. These strategies which also align with 21st Century Skills (e.g., critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, collaboration) include: cooperative learning, group investigation, and role-playing.

All three strategies involve students working collaboratively and cooperatively to solve real-world problems while improving their ability to interact successfully among diverse groups. Consistent with these methodologies is problem-based learning which is a student-centered strategy that requires both collaboration and personal reflection to solve a personal or social problem. The Experiential-based Action Model (EBAM) with its focus on student awareness about a problem leading to students taking authentic action is an excellent representative of problem-based learning.

The Information-Processing family of teaching strategies represent instructional models that address the individual’s innate nature to make sense of his/her world. These strategies include: inquiry-based instruction, synectics, and the scientific method. A by-product of these methodologies is students’ heightened ability to ask questions, develop hypotheses, generate creativity thinking, and seek solutions

Teach 2.0 is not a new instructional methodology, but an organic blend of proven methodologies that have proven most successful and pervasive in governmental “think tanks,” business and industry, and within the scientific community. Applied to public education, they represent the key to public schooling’s successful transition into digital-age learning using Web 2.0 technologies that ultimately equip students for the challenges in the 21st Century workforce.

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