A School in the Cloud?

Beske, Michelle


Mitra, S. Build a School in the Cloud. TED. https://www.ted.com/talks/sugata_mitra_build_a_school_in_the_cloud?referrer=playlist-ken_robinson_10_talks_on_educ.

Mitra questions the future of education. He wonders what we are doing with an education system that is obsolete. He experimented with learning computers in parts of India where student had no access to technology to see what would happen. He learned that in 9 months, a child in rural India with no formal instruction could have the same computer skills as an office secretary in the West (including having to teach themselves English).  Access to technology is key but encouragement is the most valuable tool, which he terms “the granny cloud”.  He has a vision for a “school in the Cloud” where students create Self Organized Learning Environments.

I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this talk and keep bringing it up with my teaching colleagues. As teachers, we hear time and again that one of the most important principles/beliefs that a teacher can have is to believe that all children can learn; regardless of situations, backgrounds, learning challenges, etc. Mitra’s experiments in rural India highlight this principle. This speaks to everything I know and believe in my heart about education, most particularly the parts about encouragement being the most valuable tool. I love everything about this Ted Talk!

5 Ways PBL Facilitates Lifelong Learning

Whitlock, Kami


Niehoff, M. (2019, September 21). 5 Ways PBL facilitates lifelong learning. Retrieved from https://www.gettingsmart.com/2019/09/5-ways-pbl-facilitates-lifelong- learning/?utm_source=Smart+Update&utm_campaign=c2e3b20d71-SMART_UPDATE_2019_09_24_07_17&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_17bb008ec3-c2e3b20d71-321306465

Educators’ main goal is to help students become life long learners, but this task, although it sounds simple, can be challenging. This article explains five characteristics of problem based learning (PBL) and justifies why they are important to students. The five characteristics are real-world learning, sustained inquiry, public opportunities, student voice and choice and the power of learning when you love what you do.

Many educators stray away from PBL because it seems challenging to implement. This article persuasively explains why that should not happen. It describes how students benefit from PBL at school and will take all of the ideas and lessons they learn with them to use later in life. By using PBL students will think more deeply about content, develop collaborative skills, take part in social emotional learning, and use technology. This article is very informative about what PBL is and how students and teachers benefit from it.

It’s 2019. So Why Do 21st-Century Skills Still Matter?

Name: Boyd, Shani

Topic: ID


Boss, S. (2019). It’s 2019. So Why Do 21st-Century Skills Still Matter? Retrieved from: https://www.edsurge.com/news/2019-01-22-its-2019-so-why-do-21st-century-skills-still-matter


The article introduces how the 21st Century model has evolved in the current era and how it is being applied in the real world by students. Drawing from examples of various teachers, Boss demonstrates what has worked well to incorporate the 4C’s while empowering students. As the model calls for moving away from textbooks and teachers talking-at students, students collaborate with others, apply critical thinking to real-world situations, and find creative uses for communicating through digital tools. Yet, despite the innovations technology has brought to this way of teaching, many teachers still find it challenging to incorporate established frameworks for deeper learning.


This article opens with a successful example of students applying 21stCentury skills to a problem in their community that drew on their ability to collaborate and think critically. The article then transitions into an explanation about applying the 4C’s and other innovations to deeper learning that have evolved in the digital age. Boss introduces notable educators in the field and incorporates several examples of how students have applied this method outside of classrooms. She also provides additional reading material and links to other websites for further research. I like that this article covers a variety of perspectives on how the 21st Century model has been applied and how it works for students. She calls for more teachers to make the much needed transition because the competencies taught reman relevant to a students contribution to their community and life outside of school.

The Learning Commons

Bagley-Rowe, Heather


Moreillon, J. (2017). The Learning Commons. Teacher Librarian, 44(3), 21-25. http://libaccess.sjlibrary.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ehh&AN=121419967&site=ehost-live&scope=site

The learning commons provides schools and teacher librarians the opportunity to redefine the library as a dynamic place in the learning community, and to establish teacher librarians as leaders in 21st century learning. Future ready librarians collaborate with teachers — and administrators — to ensure project-based learning and performance assessments meet appropriate standards and incorporate technology to enhance learning, as well as providing students with differentiated learning experiences. When they coteach with classroom teachers, teacher librarians yield three-fold benefits: advancement of the administration’s change and growth plan, support of educator’s professional development, and enrichment of students’ learning experiences.

Moreillon promotes both the learning commons, and coteaching between school librarians and classroom teachers. draws Support for Moreillon’s arguments come from respected academic research in the field of school librarianship, coupled with national government studies in education. This article may be used as an advocacy piece for schools and librarians facing challenges to the concept of a learning commons, and to the integral role school librarians have in their education community.