Thursday, June 11, 2015

Week 10 Defining and Assessing 21st Century Skills

21st Century skills are getting broader and more ambiguous as we continue into this century. One of the reasons is because technology is changing and developing at such a great speed that it is hard to specifically define acute skills because they will change to adapt to the technology.

The slide show brought up many important skills. Wagner supported many that I feel are the most important skills such as critical thinking, collaboration, and communication. In order for students to be productive citizens in today's world, these are essential skills, according to Wagner. I also believe that these are the most important because these are the ways in which the world, and education, are changing the most. The manner in which we communicate and collaborate has drastically been morphed into the world of technology so these skills are essential. Critical thinking is important because in the video by _________, he stated that knowledge now is "not what you know it's what you can do with your knowledge." This spoke to me as I find it very applicable to today's world. There is so much knowledge at our fingertips and accessing it is not an issue, it's being able to use it in a meaningful way to benefit society.

The grid showing learning and easiness was appropriate for our society. I think that it was true that the more you learn, the easier it gets. I don't think this is new information. When I learned to read, the more I did it, the easier it became. Learning can be viewed as a skill. You can always develop skills to make them easier.

One idea that came up in one of the clip was the idea of asking good questions. I find that with the CCSS's focus on research, nonfiction, and depth of knowledge, this idea is imperative to being an effective learning in the 21st century. This is also a skill that needs to be developed with the use of inquiry and utilizing depth of knowledge lessons to increase students' awareness of effective questions.

Project-based assignments fit well into the 21st century landscape as they provide authentic learning opportunities for students, while having students employ important 21st century skills. I would like to incorporate these types of assignments into my teaching, hence the reason I am enrolled in this program.

I had students use communication, collaboration, and critical thinking in an assignment on Google where students had to investigate "dark literature." They had to discuss what dark literature was and investigate novels to support. They also had to share their material with one other student for review. When they were working together, online, they had to communicate using the discussion feature and not in person.

I also had students use Twitter to discuss certain chapters in Lord of the Flies. Students had to describe characters, come up with quotes, and respond to others with a question that furthered the conversation. While it was taxing and students were unfocused at times because it was "Twitter," they did an effective job at communicating and questioning each other.

Wagner, T. (2014, February 25). Tony Wagner Ted Talk - 4 Min. Video. Retrieved June 11, 2015, from