Tech Tools for the Everyday Teacher

The 21st Century

We live in the present, but we educate for the future.  As teachers, it is so important that we are preparing students for the rest of their lives and for a global community that is rapidly changing.  21st century skills are skills that should be taught in schools today to prepare students for the future.  My 5th graders are going to end up retiring around 2062.  We have no idea how communication, collaboration, and creation will look in 2062, but, the least we can do, is prepare them for the emerging technologies and critical thinking of today.

In the book called, ” The Global Achievement Gap” there are seven skills that students need to be prepared for the future – they include:

  • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
  • Collaboration across Networks and Leading by Influence
  • Agility and Adaptability
  • Initiative and Entrepreneurialism
  • Effective Oral and Written Communication
  • Accessing and Analyzing Information
  • Curiosity and Imagination

 When it comes down to it – I think of three skills to focus on in the classroom (in regards to 21st century skills).  I think about communication, collaboration, and creation.

As technology progresses and new mobile devices are created – and new web-based social networking is created, students are going to live in a more global society, where they can communicate immediately with anyone around the globe.  Not just via e-mail or message, but through video and audio.  It is important for education to embrace this change rather than push it away in fear.  This may mean joining online school communities where you can build a relationship with another classroom across the globe and perform projects together.

Collaboration – because of this increased globalization – where now the whole earth is connected through the internet and communicative devices  – students need to be given the opportunity to collaborate and share ideas with peers in their classrooms and outside of their classrooms.  Thinking about OpenIDEO – the internet site I discussed in an earlier blog – here is a chance for students to work through a process – towards an end result, while collaborating with peers everywhere.

Creation – this is so important because students are always looking for new media avenues to express themselves.  Teachers need to be aware of new presentation software (Prezi,Sliderocket,WIX) that will allows for students to go further with their skills and present information in a slick, modern way.

These are just some quick notes on 21st Century skills – I will be blogging more on this subject in later blogs.  If you have any comments or input please let me know.

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