The Empowered Learner

Lauren Hagey

The problem and the solution.

Problem: The United States is not graduating high school students that are ready for careers in the 21st century. Expectations have risen and there is a skills gap between what the jobs require and the skills that graduates possess.

Solution: Create applicable experiences for real life preparation. Move from using technology for the sake of using technology to empowering students to use technology as a vessel for learning and creativity to flourish.

3 Different Ways to Use Technology

Four Skills for the Future

1. Creativity & Intuitive Design

2. Cultural Context & Empathy

3. Narrative Building & Storytelling

4. Remixes, Mashups & Collective Innovation


I thought this webinar, although it was an hour long, seemed to be paced extremely well. That hour went by very fast and I found that I took notes the whole time. The speaker had a great way of putting into words very succinctly many of the ideas that I have learned through my masters and specialist degrees. He summarized what it means to be a student in the 21st century and brought light to the fact that many students in elementary school now are not learning to be a 21st century student... they ARE 21st century students. The speaker explains the evolution of the use of technology in the 21st century starting with just the idea of using technology to the present where technology is used as a platform for finding information and using creativity to learn. 21st century is truly student-centered and about empowering the student to take ownership of their education. Although the speaker was not overly enthusiastic, he had me intrigued to hear more.

More Resources!

This article suggests five ways to get students empowered to take charge in their educational pursuits. Most of the suggestions involve student-centered learning and learning-by-doing methods.
Empowering students through self-directed projects: Jonathan Amory at TEDxYouth@JBMHS
This video shows a speaker versed in advanced project design sharing his experience in the classroom and why creating experiences for students to learn for themselves with guidance is so important.
This author focuses on evaluating how technology is being used in the classroom. Are students really the ones using the technology? Or is the teacher really the one using it with sporadic uses by the students? Also, are those uses genuine learning opportunities or an effective use of technology in the classroom?

Lauren Hagey