They Said It: The Rules of 21st Century Education: A Student’s Perspective
3/27/2014 By: Diego Macias
|Del Valle High School
students wait in line to see
speaker Wendy Davis.
I attended the recent SXSW Education conference as a Del Valle High School (TX) student correspondent
for Compass Learning. The conference was filled with educators, administrators, and technology people
from all over the country, but I tried to communicate what the conference was like from a student’s point
of view, and to figure out what all the conversations and topics had to do with me and my peers. After
attending many sessions, I came up with rules that educators need to know in order to successfully educate
21st-century learners like myself:
1 EXPERIMENT! Students get bored using the same educational mediums every day.
Trying new activities in class will not only keep the students’ attentions, but keep the teacher entertained
while teaching class.
2 Blended learning. This term is relatively simple. Curriculum needs to have 21st-century tech in order
to teach the current generation. However, good ol’ face-to-face communication won’t hurt anybody.
Keep a nice balance, that’s the key.
3 Bridging the “Digital Divide.” It’s difficult to expect a teacher that’s been teaching since the 70s to
know how to grab the attention of the most tech-savvy generation ever. Teachers, don’t be afraid to use
technology! Innovations in education are made for a reason and can actually make your life easier.
4 Proper funding. Schools are very
important places because they teach
the kids that will one day keep the world
spinning. Students need access to the
right tools, and that can’t be done unless
schools have the proper funding. Teachers
need better pay as well because they have
one of the most important jobs out there.
5 Proper tools. Students need devices
that will help them through all their
assignments. Schools don’t need what
the old people in charge of technology
think is “good technology.” Schools need
what the students want and know will
help them. It only makes sense, right?
Unfortunately, it’s not like that today in a
lot of schools, and it needs to change.
6 Keep it FUN! There’s so many
educational games that can help students
learn, with more and more being
released constantly. Also, a fun learning
environment is needed. Stop with the
dull classrooms and make them fun and
colorful for students.
7 Choice. It’s crucial for students to have a
choice in what they learn, just as teachers
should have an option in what they teach.
This builds positive relationships on both
sides because both parties are meeting
the state requirement while being able to
teach things that they want.
Diego Macias is a junior at Del Valle High
School in the Del Valle Independent School
District (TX). He attended and reported on
SXSWedu as a Compass Learning student