Alvin Toffler's Wave Theory refers to different eras in which there has been a paradigm shift in society. In Toffler's third wave, he refers to society being in an "informational" age (Laureate Education, Inc., 2008). We use technology to research information and work more independently of each other. Society is growing into a fourth wave that Dr. Thornburg refers to as a communication era. This era links unlimited information and collaboration by using technology (Laureate Education, Inc., 2008).
In my sixth-grade, science classroom, I would like to better prepare my students to be successful in society's growing fourth era. I would have students write in a blog about an issue that is relevant to them and to society. For example, the town is considering developing a large piece of land for housing, retail and a new movie theatre. I would have the students write in a blog about their position as to whether or not this is a good idea. I would have them consider the ecosystem, pollution, economics and housing needs. They would learn how to use appropriate language to fit this situation while supporting their opinions using course content and facts. They would respond to each other's blogs and that would allow them an opportunity to explore and debate other ideas. Students would be collaborating just like adults collaborate in the work force.
"Creativity is the cornerstone of education" (Laureate Education, Inc., 2008). This blog would be appropriate for this lesson because it "links Piaget's cognitive constructivism learning theory and Vygotsky's social constructivism learning theory" (Laureate Education, Inc., 2008). Previously, students may have just researched information using the Internet and written a report. A blog provides a place where students can express supported thoughts and ideas with many other students and receive immediate feedback. It creates an entire new level of learning that has not been available previously.
Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2008). Understanding the Impact of Technology on Education, Work, and Society [Motion picture]. Teacher as professional. Baltimore.