What are the most critical technology skills for students to learn? We recently asked our readers this question, and here’s what they had to say.
From having the courage to experiment with different technologies to possessing online literacy, readers said being a tech-savvy student in the 21st century is about much more than learning how to use a certain software program or device—it’s about being able to adapt to what’s constantly changing.
Full Text: Five technology skills every student should learn | eSchool News.
Professional development expert Jared Covili, author of the new book, Going Google: Powerful Tools for 21st Century Learning, describes the wide array of free Google technologies available to schools and explains how to use them to encourage teaching 21st century skills.
Full Text: Jared Covili: Using Google to Bring 21st Century Skills Into the Classroom | School Leadership Briefing.
What teachers need to consider when preparing students for the 21st Century.
It has become clear that teaching skills requires answering “What should students learn in the 21st century?” on a deep and broad basis. Teachers need to have the time and flexibility to develop knowledge, skills, and character, while also considering the meta-layer/fourth dimension that includes learning how to learn, interdisciplinarity, and personalisation. Adapting to 21st century needs means revisiting each dimension and how they interact:
Full Text: OECD educationtoday: What should students learn in the 21st century?.
Nathan Mielke on his Be of Use blog echoes a complaint I’ve long had:
…I am soooooooo sick of hearing about 21st Century Learning, 21st Century Skills, 21st Century ad nauseam. Isn’t there a better way to phrase this for everyday conversation? Perhaps we need to stick with this so everyone hears consistent jargon, but I don’t think people overall have the right idea of what it means. I would imagine if we polled our staff or parents they would say its technology or computer skills. That couldn’t be further from the truth. If I say higher order thinking skills I think that’s pretty clear (at least to me) of what that means. I worry 21st Century means the Jetsons or Star Trek to all too many people.
So what’s the best term to use for this set of skills that are now important for everyone to master if they are to be employed and employable in a post-industrial economy? Where problem-solving, creativity, and initiative are the new “basic” skills?
Or will 21st Century Sklils be with us until, oh, 2200?
[Well worth reading the whole article and the comments]
Full Text: A better name than 21st Century Skills? – Home – Doug Johnson’s Blue Skunk Blog.
Ravitz, J., Hixson, N., English, M., & Mergendoller, J. (2012). Using project based learning to teach 21st century skills: Findings from a statewide initiative. Paper presented at Annual Meetings of the American Educational Research Association. Vancouver, BC. April 16, 2012. Available: http://www.bie.org/research/study/PBL_21CS_WV
In 2008, the West Virginia Department of Education launched a major initiative to provide teachers with professional development in PBL. This initiative was intended to improve learning outcomes across the state and to help teachers prepare students for 21st century skills.
After three years of extensive professional development, including week-long summer institutes, BIE and the West Virginia Department of Education, Office of Research surveyed teachers who used PBL with extensive professional development and a similar group of matched teachers, to address the following research questions.
Do teachers who have used PBL with extensive professional development teach and assess 21st century skills to a greater extent than teachers who have not had similar professional development or do not use PBL?
How is PBL use and teaching of 21st century skills influenced by other variables — such as subject and grade, class achievement level, block scheduling, etc.?
Results are useful in clarifying measures of 21st century teaching, describing how these practices vary, and showing how they relate to PBL use.
This study seeks to determine the effect of project based learning (PBL) professional development and implementation on teachers’ perceived ability to teach and assess 21st century skills. At the end of the 2010-2011 school year, data on teaching practices and perceptions were systematically gathered and compared from two groups of teachers matched by demographics, grade and subject: teachers expected to have utilized PBL after extended professional development (44) and teachers who had not received the professional development or not expected to have used PBL (42). Teachers who used PBL and received extensive professional development reported more teaching and assessment of 21st century skills overall, with similar patterns seen within subjects and for nearly all of the measured skills.
This paper was presented at Annual Meetings of the American Educational Research Association. An official report from WVDE including more technical information on sampling is being developed. Additional analyses (not yet available) will focus on statewide standardized test scores as they relate to PBL use.
The survey measures of 21st century skills teaching were highly reliable (all alpha > .90) and are available by request for use in other studies.
Download pdf: AERA paper
Via: Using PBL to Teach 21st Century Skills: Findings from a Statewide Initiative in West Virginia | Research | Research | Project Based Learning | BIE.