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Student Perspectives on Learning in the 21st Century
Sometimes best laid plans must be put aside when a special moment takes place in the classroom. While I had a blog post written in its entirety, photos chosen and was ready to post following class this afternoon, students in my A block Economics class led a discussion on the impact of technology on education and the economy in the 21st century that deserved to be featured immediately.

Over the course of the past week, Economics students in small groups have been charged with teaching a full class block on a topic of their choosing. The first group discussed the impact technology will have on commerce in the 21st century, while the second group focused its efforts on teaching about the economics of the food industry over the past fifty years.

Today's group chose to teach its class on the changing role education will have on the economy in the future. After reviewing the homework they had assigned the night before, the 'teachers' chose to show a portion of Sugatra Mitra's "School in the Cloud" Ted Talk in hopes of sparking a discussion on how technology can, and will, change education in the future.  

The result of today's class? One of the most honest, respectful, and genuine discussions I have observed regarding the intersection of education and technology. I did not say a word throughout the entire sixty minute class, but instead chose to film their conversation with my iPad. Students teaching students about role of technology in their education. Does it get any better than this?  

Below is a brief sampling of conversation, illustrating a few of the many perspectives shared by this group of juniors and seniors for whom my respect continues to grow.

The video in the main text of today's blog features student conversation around the role of technology in education.
A number of students commented that their experiences on Mountain Classroom and Ocean Classroom have significantly shaped their view of technology and learning.
Most students agreed that while there is value in online coursework, they are far more comfortable with a hands-on approach to learning.
Emily, a four year senior, suggested that our discomfort with technology is simply due to a change, and change is not necessarily bad, just uncomfortable.