21st Century Skills
February 4, 2009
It is fascinating to think that we are preparing students for jobs and careers that don’t even exist yet. When I read most of the entries (as they are still coming in) I found the themes to be: Technology Skills and the Non-Technology Skills.
Students of the 21st Century will need to be:
Flexible in their thinking, open to inqury, critical thinking skills, high level thinking skills, complex problem solving skills, foreign language skills and good communicators. They need to take these skills and apply them to all subject areas including technology. Some colleagues talked about the digital divide–there are still the have and have nots. Govenor Stickland talked about having these skills in his address this week as well and leveling the playing field.
Well if that’s what students need to know–how are we as educators going to get them there. Many voiced these are skills they are already teaching and as far as technology is concerned–professional education! Modeling and not being afraid to learn new things. The pitfalls were discussed such as the new and innovative ways that students cheat! Always some bad with all the good!
Last Friday was our district inservice day–21st Century Learners!
Keynote speaker was not that impressive (he did not know his audience that well–our distircit was beyond his talk) Matt Williams, from the Knowlege Works Foundation (we had Wil Richardson last year–hard to live up to him!) But we did live blogging while the speaker was presenting. This was a good example of modeling. Although the blogging was not real effective because the speaker did become actively involved in it–it did expose us to new classroom strategies.
I facilitated a session on 21st Century Learners–what are the changes.
I had teachers from middle and high school and a couple of business partners. We looked at the areas Flow of Communicati on, Assessment, Research or Information Sources, Technology and Students Work. We compared the 20thcentury classroom to the 21st century classroom. It was like a walk down memory lane for some of us! Many of us marveled at the electric typewriter with automatic correction! LOL
The next session I attenedwas 21st Century Tools–we shared classroom practices and business practices. Business said number one skills students needed to come with was communication skills. Be able to express oneself professionally.
The third session I attended was Student Presentations. Our goal was to have students share how they are using technology in school and outside of school. These seniors shared about using Applets in math, using and controlling a satellite for conducting research in science class, probeware, some unique earth google tips, mixing music on the computer, using Digg, Facebook and other social networking sites.
The afternoon was spent in our own school where we had our own teachers leading technology sessions: Moodle, Audacity, Movie Maker, Photo Elements. We gave enough time this year so that staff could actually have plenty of time for actually setting up something they could use in the classroom. It was most excellent! I learned how to use cell phones for a neat project–I will share when we get to that in this class.
21 st Century Teaching and Learning is very exciting and will be evolving for some time to come! Ka
Posted in Journal CA