Ok, so it is a line from the 1970’s Rock Opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Yep…that dates me! As I was deciding on my topic, the terms: 21st Century Education, 21st Century Schools, 21st Century Learner, etc began to bounce around my head, as these are buzz words which have been circulating in our district.
So what about the 21st Century Learner? Schools? Education? Classroom? What’s the buzz?
The technological revolution is upon us and has opened the door to a wealth of information which has the capabilities to enhance the educational structure we offer to our students. The need to change both the role of the educator and meet the demands of the future is imperative. The majority of educators are modifying their teaching approach by facilitating learning, instead of simply dispensing knowledge.
With this said, I believe, Tony Wagner’s “Seven Survival Skills for Careers, College and Citizenship for the 21st Century”, exemplifies exactly what is necessary for the 21st century.
- Critical Thinking and Problem Solving - Buzz Words: Reason, analyze, make judgments, solve, make decisions
- Collaboration across Networks and Leading by Influence - Buzz Words: Engage, part of a team, work with others, contribute, collaborate
- Agility and Adaptability - Buzz Words: Flexibility, accept feedback effectively – positive or negative, compromise, change
- Initiative and Entrepreneurialism - Buzz Words: Self-directed learner, commitment, time management, lifelong learner
- Effective Oral and Written Communication - Buzz Words: Articulate clearly/effectively, listen, utilize various/numerous medias and technologies, diversity
- Accessing and Analyzing Information - Buzz Words: Critical thinking, evaluate, validity of information, process
- Curiosity and Imagination - Buzz Words: The whys, utilizing various perspectives, generating new ideas
As educators, it is essential for us to evolve with this generation and with the evolution of technology into our daily lives. Two great videos to view (if you have not already) are:
- A Vision of K-12 Student Today: This project was created to inspire teachers to use technology in engaging ways to help students develop higher level thinking skills. Equally important, it serves to motivate district level leaders to provide teachers with the tools and training to do so. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_A-ZVCjfWf8&feature=related
- Learning to Change Changing to Learn: Learning to Change Changing to Learn Advancing K-12 Technology Leadership, Consortium for School Networking (COSN) Video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tahTKdEUAPk&NR=1