Using varied instructional strategies in the classroom is essential to student learning. While I subscribe to a constructivist belief in education, it is important to address all types of learning. Some students learn best with hands-on work, others must have a visual approach (a movie, a modeled experiment, etc), while others are audial learners and require lecture or repetition.
From Best Education Possible from Debra M. West
Technology plays an important role in 21st century education because it allows teachers to address multiple learner types at the same time. Playing a game or conducting a lab online allows students to see, hear, and manipulate things in a way that they have never been able to before.
In the following video from C-SPAN the National Governor's Association discusses improvements for United States education. One speaker notes that we must move past routine cognitive learning and expand to focus on higher level learning. This is a nation-wide initiative and teacher buy-in is imperitive.
National Governor's Association on Education Reform
In the classroom I hope to continue to engage students and enhance my curriculum through interactive technology. Below is an example of student work from a recent project that required students to work in groups to collaborate, summarize the text, and manipulate the Google Map, all while applying their learning to district and state standards and benchmarks.
View South East Asia Imperialism in a larger map