Initially, what impressed me about The Beacon School was their multimedia program. I show a couple of their student-produced videos regularly as examples of what students can produce within the context of a creative curriculum-based assignment.
But their formula is simple. All assignments must be turned in digitally — no paper. We struggle with what it looks like to integrate technology into the curriculum, but this is it. It’s simple. Do it digitally. You tell students to do it. You make it the assignment, and you base part of the assessment on the quality of the student’s communication.
. . . The school itself was not especially tech-rich. The computers I saw were not brand new and they were not plentiful. But agreement was that in the 21st century, students’ work should be digital.
I'm not sure we're quite ready for 100% of their turned in assignments to be digital, but I do think that we need to consider this idea that - in the 21st century - most of their work should be digital. It's this idea of connectivism - that any kind of turned-in "assignment" that is not digital is too limited these days, because it eliminates the connections to a larger pool of knowledge. Which is more valuable - and more relevant - an assignment that's printed out on paper (and therefore static), or a digital version (which not only can have links, but can actually be updated when new knowledge becomes available or the students' ideas change over time)?