Tools To Be Successful Teaching The 21st Century Student

To teach our teens how to act responsibly, we must step into their world. Based on our assemblies with 21st century teens, GenerationTextOnline announces new anti-bullying curriculum.

Every time I work in a school, camp or athletic program, I become privy to real life situations that teens go through on a daily basis.  If you don’t remember middle school or high school, I’ll remind you by telling you what a teen I was working with said to me about high school, “Ms. Brown, it’s not good to be different!”

As adults, I think it is really hard to remember what that felt like.

For me as an adultm what the people in my neighborhood or my coworkers are wearing, buying or the car they are driving is the furthest thing from my mind. Like most parents and professionals, my daily thoughts are consumed of how I am possibly going to get to everything I need to do!

Hmm, for today….the dog needs to be walked, what am I cooking for dinner, do I need to go the grocery store, Spencer’s tutor is coming over, what time do I need to pick up my kids, I think someone has a doctor’s appointment, still need to look up the directions for my afternoon work appointment, and I am sure one of my kids has practice or a game tonight……

If we want to teach our teens to act and respond in a particular way, we need to step into their world.

In order to do that, we need to ask our teens what it is really like in their world.  We need to start by asking questions. Then, we need to listen. Our advice and direction is most successful if it is relatable and what better way to do that than by using their story? 

So let’s say we connect with them on that level… how is it that they will actually listen to what we have to say? How do we reach the 21st century student?  Teens are different today. Their brains are wired differently. And not only are the teens different but their parents and the parenting style is different too! 

As educators, we have come to realize that relying on parents to actively teach their kids morals, values and positive character traits is a concept of the past. 

In order to be successful in teaching the 21st century student, our methods of teaching must include technology – cell phones, the internet, videos and iPods. The style of teaching must be interactive and collaborative. Lecturing from the front of the classroom is a thing of the past!

This past year, we have seen government agencies passing laws requiring schools to provide children with ongoing, age-appropriate curriculum that addresses internet safety, digital citizenship, bullying and cyberbullying. 

For Generation Text Online, the idea of writing and producing an interactive curriculum is a natural progression for our company. Our solution-based assembly programs which are being presented to school districts all over North America, are a strong introductions to solving the bullying and cyberbullying problem in our schools. 

Generation Text Online’s mission has three parts: 

  • Present a real-life example.
  • Introduce the ideas, theories and examples of how to do the “right thing.” 
  • Challenge the students to use critical thinking skills in order to make decisions regarding their actions and behavior.

Generation Text Online is now providing school administrators and educators with a curriculum that enables them to provide the practice and repetition for their students to learn changed behavior.

In the last two years, GTO has been testing this curriculum in several schools throughout the country.  Within our test markets, the educators and the students have had an incredible impact on the final product. One of our goals was to create a curriculum that didn’t require any prep time on the teacher’s part.  This curriculum is a guide that allows your school to implement a system for changed behavior…curriculum that provides a video version where the lessons are as easy as pushing a button.

Generation Text Online is proud to announce that with the collaboration of Kiwi Seminars of Toronto, Canada, Mike Kee from KeeFrame Productions of Ontario, Paul O’Connor of The Actors Camp in Mountainside, N.J., and the teenage actors and actresses from around northern and central NJ, we spent the first part of July filming and producing: “Developing a 21st Century Student…Bullying, Cyberbullying and Positive School Climate”, Volume 1

We are excited to announce that the editing, printing and duplication of the digital version of our curriculum will be ready for distribution in North America by the first week of August. Translation of this curriculum for Spanish, French, Farsi, Tamil, Russian, Urdu, and Mandarin is scheduled to be released in the first part of 2013.

See pictures for a glimpse of what’s to come!

Jill Brown

Generation Text Online



Programs that provide Solutions to STOP cyberbullying



A place for kids to connect in a safe place...


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Aidan July 24, 2012 at 02:40 PM
"As educators, we have come to realize that relying on parents to actively teach their kids morals, values and positive character traits is a concept of the past." An insulting, blanket statement. I taught public high school for decades. And tons and tons ofkids were raised with fine values and work ethics. In no time you knew which kids came from grounded background ... with folks who were on the task of parenting. Yes, it is good policy never to lose that sensation of what it was like to be 8 or 12 or 16. And a bright, well-tuned-in teacher sees all of this right in front of him every day. It's such an obvious observation it hardly needs mentioning.
Aidan July 24, 2012 at 02:56 PM
"Teens are different today." They are not. Did TV transform student behavior? Did the phone? The walkman? The cell phone?Did cable television? Stop the nonsense. Kids are kids. Adaptive? Yes? Radically different from earlier generations? Not really. What is different is what you're asking of the schools."...we have seen government agencies passing laws requiring schools to provide children with ongoing, age-appropriate curriculum that addresses internet safety, digital citizenship, bullying and cyberbullying." The primary mission of schools has been shredded. Actual educational efforts are crowded out because schools have morphed into holistic centers where every societal ill or challenge is now thrust on teachers ... all at the expense of in-classroom instruction. We beg them to skip the Budweiser and put down the joint; we implore them to stay out of the backseat and to brush their teeth. We now wanna stomp out bullying ... as if this is recent stuff because it has a new technological twist. Listen, it's all the same. Just a new generation with new technological toys. They are not the problem. The problem is a manufactured problem. In a nutshell, we've sabotaged the original mission of public schools.
Aidan July 24, 2012 at 02:57 PM
Teachers should be culturally current. But the elements of excellent teaching have not changed much at all. Dynamic educators with strong personalities and competent approaches are still the ticket. IF ... they are permitted to do their primary task. Funny ... since schools began addressing every societal wrinkle they've almost increased the dysfunction ... because some kids are smart enough to wear a tag that cuts them excuses. You'd be surprised how effective a real dose of reality is for students. A little bit of failure ... with consequences ... can be a wonderful lesson. I wish we were all less hand-cuffed by the PC rot ... and dealt with kids on the up-and-up. There'd be less nonsense all around. And our schools would reveal new and more demanding efforts from every student ... and they'd meet those challenges if we allowed gifted teachers to work their magic.
sayitsnotsojack July 24, 2012 at 02:58 PM
Just go to a sports game no matter what age group and observe the terrible behavior of the parents and one will understand why these kids have to manners, or ethics.
Aidan July 24, 2012 at 03:03 PM
Next time be sure to scour the crowd for the hundreds of kids that do not fit your pre-conceptions. They're there, too.


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