(2) Web 2.0 and mass collaboration. “One of the greatest ways to engage students and teach 21st-century skills is by using the web for collaboration,” said Lemke.

She gave attendees a glimpse into how mass web collaboration is transforming society.

One example is a resource called Innocentive, which connects small businesses with problem solvers via the web. Whoever solves the problem gets cash for solving that problem.

An example from the web site involved a small oil company in Alaska that had a problem with its oil pipes freezing in cold temperatures. After the company posted its problem online, a construction developer solved the problem in hours because his construction sites had the same problem with freezing concrete pipes. The solution was to vibrate the pipes to keep them from freezing. After drawing a proposal and calculating a few other technicalities, he submitted his answer and received $20,000.

Lemke also quoted a list from the Johnson & Johnson Co. on what defines good collaboration, which can help educators when asking their students to work online collaboratively:

1. Balance of formal and informal work

2. Positive interdependence that promotes personal responsibility

3. Considerable promotive interaction

4. Shared workspace

5. Iterative group reflection and processing to improve effectiveness

“We also need to start creating assessments for group work,” said Lemke. “Most of the time when educators grade students in groups, it’s still based on individual [contributions]. The work of the group as a whole needs to be assessed as well.”

(3) Multimodal learning. Lemke urged educators to read neuroscience research about how the brain processes memory with sights and sounds.

“Students can learn better when concepts are presented in many modes,” she explained.

Lemke gave the example of another TED presenter who showed how the world’s countries have shifted in life expectancy rates and birthing rates since the 1950s. Instead of just telling the audience, the TED presenter showed, through moving representative colors on a chart, how countries have changed.

“It’s not only students who need to think visually; educators have to as well,” said Lemke.

For more information on Lemke’s keys to being a leader in 21st-century education, go to http://www.metiri.com/presentations.html.

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