Friday, January 16, 2009

21st Century Skills - Learning and Innovation Skills

It has been said, by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills and several other people, that learning and innovation skills are the skill sets that will set students who are prepared for this ever changing world and work force and those who are not.

Because teachers of today are preparing students of tomorrow for jobs that don't yet exist, knowing how to learn is a must for our kiddos. Not only that, but they have to be innovative and creative problem solvers. They must know how to look at a problem and find a solution for it - either something they create or know how to find the answer.

We will not be there to help them. Their parents will not always be there to help them. Their bosses will not have the time to help, but will expect results. If we don't teach our kids how to learn and solve problems, we will be doing them a disservice.

Additionally, our students will need to know how to work together to solve these problems. No more is is the loner sitting at the desk who has the bright idea, but the group as a whole that brainstorms and comes up with the best solution. And by the way, the group might include many different people from many different backgrounds, countries, and experiences. Our kids must know how to work with other people who, more often than not, are different than they are.

Please visit the Partnership for 21st Century's Learning and Innovation Skills for more information. I would want my kids to be set apart in the work force - do you?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Blogging as a Tool for 21st Century Learning

Great article! I highly encourage you to read this article and reflect on the possibilities for doing something like this in your classroom. Not sure who you could collaborate with? Get out there and start "talking" to people or even start a blog yourself and put the request out there. You might be surprised to find someone else who would be willing to join you!

Blogging in Place: Writing That Explores New Neighborhoods
Edutopia 1.7.09
Written by Momo Chang
This article doesn't mention math or science, but there are many ways to use blogging with those core subjects as well. One idea is to have the students journal about the different climates of their area. Someone who has always lived in Houston, Texas may not fully understand what it's like to live where it's very cold. You could also have your students journal measurements of different buildings and compare (ex. Supermarkets) with the other class. You could even go as far as to have your students make a virtual replica of the buildings so the other class could "visit." There are so many possibilities...what are some ideas that you have? Please share with us - that's how we learn!