I’ve done a lot of research on 21st Century skills across the globe
- Partnership For 21st Century Skills
- International Society for Technology in Education
- United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
- The Department of Education
- Scotland Education
They all have the same aspects of 21st Century Skills highlighted (I guess that’s a good thing):
- Critical Thinking
- ICT Literacy
- Life Long Learning
This is a short list of the major concepts that are quite weighty and in-depth centered around what 21st Century Skills are. Interesting? Take a look at the list (short list) and you notice a major “C” in our society is missing (and that is a good thing)…
There is No CONSUME in 21st Century Skills
What is consume? It is to take in, buy, absorb, and to use. At the core of who we all are, we “get” consume. We have been raised as consumers. The goal of every company is to get the mass public to consume their products. The thing is companies aren’t hiring consumers, they are hiring the people who have the attributes of 21st Century Skills.
Education and Consumption
The problem I see in the education system is much the same. Educators are looking for a product that they can give to their students, so their students can consume it and say they’ve been taught. We should not be raising students up to be consumers, but creators, innovators, leaders, able to learn, and make choices about their learning. This means our teachers need to be all these too! This is not easy, there is a reason why these attributes are the top of Revised Blooms. But if our students are going to be productive in the 21st Century (which we are already 10% into) they will have to move from consumers in the classroom to creators, innovators, collaborators, organizers, and leaders.
First Steps away from Consumption via Technology
The rest of our teaching collective conscience could be spent on the how to do this, but I would like to mention a first step to be taken in Instructional Technology. Take every opportunity for any webtool or venture to be a creative one for THE STUDENT. Looking at every aspect for the student to apply the higher blooms taxonomy. I truly believe if we (the teacher) put some creative thought into the tools we use, students will be creative. The first step, is to realize the potential for an online tool to be used in some creative fashion.