by Diana Knudson
I have been taking on-line webinars, talking to educators, and reading and have had my beliefs reinforced that we have to change the way we teach to maintain relevance and importance of our K-12 public education for students and parents. One set of skills that explains what our focus should be with students are the 21st Century Skills. They are:
Critical Thinking Creativity
Information Literacy Media Literacy
Technology Literacy Flexibility
Productivity Social Skills
Of course, our students need a well-rounded knowledge about all the classes they take, but focusing only on knowledge will not cut it to prepare our students to step into a complex job market. Each Skill is unique, but all have one enormous thing in common. They are all ESSENTIAL in the age of the INTERNET.
My oldest son is a vice president and head of global sales and marketing for a large, international company. Part of his job is to hire engineers and technicians for several divisions of his company. He and I have had several conversations about the hiring process that his company uses and the type of skills prospective employees must have. His list includes: collaborators, productive thinkers, presenters, writers, and those who are flexible, risk-takers, and know how to persevere. All of these characteristics come under the heading of several of the 21st Century Skills.
Think about your classroom. How much of your school day would be spent helping students internalize the 21st Century Skills? Would you be proud to explain how you are preparing your students to step into the fast-pace of today’s market? Our schools will only remain relevant and important if we prove to the public that we are truly giving our students what they need. Project-based learning and personalized learning are a couple of ways to intrigue students so they learn to apply what is takes to start with an idea and follow through to a great product.
With these heavy-duty thoughts, and they are heavy-duty thoughts, we need to have a November drawing. Send your name to Brianna (firstname.lastname@example.org) and it will go into the hat. We will draw at the end of November for a $100 gift card.