Apr 15, 2012 - Weekly Reflection    3 Comments

Week 13 Blog Post: Curriculum and Instruction

Within the Twenty-First Century classroom, authentic assessment is a useful method to gage a students understanding of a subject.  Instead of relying on regurgitating information using rote memorization, students are encouraged to demonstrate knowledge and skills.  Performance assessment is another term used to describe authentic assessment, such that students are engaged in higher order thinking while demonstrating knowledge of a subject through conducting research, writing a report, giving presentations, debating a topic to name a few (Understanding authentic classroom-based literacy assessment, 1997).  Rather than rely on written examinations or multiple-choice quizzes, twenty-first century practitioners encourage students to explore and experience the curriculum.  While the traditional classroom experience focuses on subject-centered curriculum and teaching content knowledge, twenty-first century classrooms promote experiential learning, problem solving and hands on activities, which encourage inquiry based learning and critical thinking skills.

John Dewey described thinking in education such that, “Knowledge,” in the sense of information, means the working capital, the indispensable resources, of further inquiry; of finding out, or learning, more things” (Progressive education, 2012). Dewey also argued that education is progressive and promotes social responsibility. As teachers, it is our responsibility to incorporate the advancements of technology enhanced learning into 21st century instructional strategies to emphasize engaged and active environments.  Various thematic units can incorporate technology and promote technological literacy, in addition to implementing authentic assessments.  For instance, language arts units can have students demonstrate their work through an online-journal with a compilation of computer-animated illustrations.  Weekly assignments such as journals can transition into writing your own book and even publishing the story using a Web 2.0 tool.  For example, Tikatok is a free site where a student can create and publish a personalized book that can be viewed online, sent via e-mail or purchased as a hard copy.   A neat feature of the online storybook allows students to create audio recordings to guide readers through the story.  Additionally, a teacher can utilize this tool to engage the classroom in a collaborative writing project, implement the writing process and print a book free of charge.


Tikatok. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.tikatok.com/classroom

Progressive education. (2012). Retrieved from http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/John_Dewey

Understanding authentic classroom-based literacy assessment. (1997). Retrieved from http://eduplace.com/rdg/res/litass/index.html


  • Hi Shelley! you had so many great ideas in your post this week. You seem very thoughtful in your planning of curriculum and have really come up with some creative solutions! Technology is definitely something I could be more familiar with and these are some great tips. Ill have to look into these! great post 🙂

  • I got a good laugh from the cartoon at the top of your blog! That’s a good one! Twenty-first century assessment really is much different these days…rather than students taking written tests they are asked to actually demonstrate they understand what they have learned. It’s a big change, but it is definitely one worth having!

  • I have never heard of Tikatok before, but that is awesome! I’m going to file that one away in my memory. I agree with you that it is our responsibility as modern educators to incorporate technology into the classroom, it only makes sense. Technology is such a great experiential tool, too, not to mention one that lends itself to differentiation. Great post!