Unit I: Identifying 21st Century Skills


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Identifying 21st Century Skills........


  • To be able to identify 21st Century Skills and apply them to real-world situations.

"The current and future health of America’s 21st Century Economy depends directly on how broadly and deeply Americans reach a new level of literacy—‘21st Century Literacy’—that includes strong academic skills, thinking, reasoning, teamwork skills, and proficiency in using technology.”

-21st Century Workforce Commission National Alliance of Business

In order to thrive in a digital economy, students will need digital age proficiencies. It is important for the educational system to make parallel changes in order to fulfill its mission in society, namely the preparation of students for the world beyond the classroom. Therefore, the educational system must understand and embrace the 21st Century Skills by embedding them within the context of academic standards. An extensive review of the literature about 21st century skills suggests that educational decision makers must acknowledge that the academics of yesterday are not sufficient for today.

To adequately prepare, students must learn content within the context of 21st century skills. The translation of these skills in digital age places of learning, and, most importantly, the appropriate assessment of these skills through multiple measures will ultimately determine whether today’s children will be prepared to live, learn, work, and serve the public good in a digital, global society.

Students need to learn content through real-world examples, applications and experiences both inside and outside of the classroom. Students are better learners when education is relevant, engaging and meaningful to their lives-they understand better and retain more information which is shared with them.

What are they?

• Cooperative learning • Literacy • Technology • Numeracy • Teamwork • Collaboration • Problem solving • Life long learning • Flexibility • Creative thinking • Risk taking • Communication • Media literacy • Persistence • Social responsibility • Global Awareness • Adaptability • Applied learning • Critical thinking • Accountability • Leadership • Citizenship • Tolerance • Self-assessment

How do we “teach” our students?

• Ask questions • “spread the word” • Establish benchmarks-set goals • Provide resources • Teach entrepreneurship • Track students • Develop connections • Model • Educate • Seek “creative competencies”

19th – 20th Century Learning Vs. 21st Century Learning

Test your knowledge. Identify from the list below which skills exhibit 19th-20th Century Learning and which skills represent 21st Century Learning.

• Limited access to knowledge and information (i.e.‘content’) primarily through print

• Emphasis on learning content knowledge that may or may not be used in life

• Goal is to master content knowledge (literature, history, science, etc)

• Facts and information are “spoon-fed” by teachers to students

• Print-based information analysis

• Pencil / pen and paper or word processing for expression

• Classroom-limited learning and dissemination

• Textbook learning from one source, primarily print

• Conceptual learning on individual basis

• “Lock-step” age-based exposure to content knowledge

• Mastery demonstrated through papers and tests

• Teacher selecting and lecturing

• Teacher evaluates and assesses work and assigns grade

• Teaching with state-adopted textbooks for subject area with little accountability for teaching

• Infinite access to knowledge and information (‘content’) increasingly through the Internet

• Emphasis on process skills for lifelong learning

• Goal is to learn skills (access, analyze, evaluate, create) to solve problems

• Teachers use discovery, inquiry-based approach

• Multi-media information analysis

• Powerful multi-media technology tools for expression

• World-wide learning and dissemination

• Real-world, real-time learning from multiple sources, mostly visual and electronic

• Project-based learning on team basis

• Flexible individualized exposure to content knowledge

• Mastery demonstrated through multi-media

• Teacher framing and guiding

• Students learn to set criteria and to evaluate own work

• Teaching to state education standards with testing for accountability

Resources & Suggested Activities

Search the Route21 Database or visit:

Biblioteca Las Americas: http://bla.stisd.net/

¡VIVA! Peer Tutor Progect: http://bla.stisd.net/viva_mission.htm

S.O.S for Information Literacy: http://www.informationliteracy.org/

Londonderry School District: http://www.londonderry.org/

To: Unit II: Preparing "Our" Future

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