A collection of videos related to technology and media literacy, sorted in categories like "Conversation Starters," "Influence of Media on Society," and "Social Networks & Identity."
A discussion of personal branding and its connections to education, arguing that being able to demonstrate your talents and passions is a 21st century skill
Speaking from both his head and heart, Dan makes he compelling case that it is no longer is it enough to show that you are great, you have to show why you are a great match for a culture and brand of the company you want to work for. You have to be able to sell yourself, your talents, your passions, your uniqueness. (Aren't these Key 21st Century Skills?)
Dave Ferguson pulls out big ideas from Stephen Downes' "OS for the mind" essay. Essentially, the argument is that we need to teach more than just facts: we need to teach people what to do with facts.
- You can learn to tell fact from non-fact. Detecting deception (or, I think, error, or misrepresentation) is a skill, Downes says, “and you need just as much as your computer needs to be able to detect malware.”
- You’ve gotta decide. This point is key: decision-making isn’t rote performance, which means it’s not based solely on facts.
Principles for 21st century schools like rewarding risk taking and teaching empathy. I don't think I've seen anyone else put empathy on their list of 21st century skills, and I'm not quite sure how you teach it.
Guidelines for teachers for supporting multimedia and digital literacy
Report from the National Council of Teachers of English with a call to action to teach writing appropriately for the 21st century. Writing now often happens outside school in social spaces where people learn informally through their peers. Includes an overview of how writing has been viewed historically and how that has affected how we teach writing.
"Writing has never been accorded the cultural respect or the support that reading has enjoyed, in part because through reading, society could control its citizens, whereas through writing, citizens might exercise their
"Writing has historically and inextricably been linked to testing."
"In much of this new composing, we are writing to share, yes; to encourage dialogue, perhaps; but mostly, I think, to participate."
"First, we have moved beyond a pyramid-like, sequential model of literacy development in which print literacy comes first and digital literacy comes second and networked literacy practices, if they come at all, come third and last."
Example project from the Developing 21st Century Literacy Skills course. The assignment is to develop a project where students will develop and demonstrate 21st century literacy skills. In this project, students create a multimedia presentation with information about their state as if they are working in the visitor's bureau and trying to convince tourists to visit.
Reflection on recent discussion about the value of 21st century skills in education, arguing that 21st century skills are more critical to success than much of the deep content knowledge currently expected in schools
Our problem is not that we can't teach 21st century skills unless it is content specific, it is rather that we are content specific to begin with. When we compartmentalize our content in an effort to put it on a pedestal, we compartmentalize our learning of it, so that it has no relevance to the larger picture. 21st century skills, like the term or not, have that ability.
Brief glossary of terms related to 21st century literacies
Ning community set up by the authors of Reinventing Project-Based Learning, used for a course. The group is currently dormant, but the archived discussions still have some interest and will likely provide some inspiration for the project-based learning with multimedia course I'm revising.
Will Richardson responds to a Washington Post article that calls 21st century skills a "doomed pedagogical fad."
With access to the Internet, and with an understanding of how to create and navigate these online, social learning spaces, opportunities for learning widely and deeply reside in the connections that we make with other people who can teach or mentor us and/or collaboarate with us in the learning process. That, I think, is where we find 21st Century skills that are different and important. Sure, those connections require a well developed reading and writing literacy, and critical thinking and creativity and many of the others are skills inherent to the process. But this new potential to learn easily and deeply in environments that are not bounded by physical space or scheduled time constraints requires us as educators to take a hard look at how we are helping our students realize the potentials of those opportunities.
To me, that’s what 21st Century Skills are all about, teaching our kids to navigate the world as they are experiencing it, not the world we experienced.
Another response to Nancy White's CCK08 discussion on how to get change to happen. Also includes an interesting graphic with overlapping skills of "social fluency" based on work by Chris Lott.
Change has to start with an identified need, not with a good idea. Generally, we only change when we must. Listen for needs.
Change, like great research, begins with asking important questions, and provoking respondents to self-change instead of trying to persuade or impose it.
Experiment. The best, profound changes come from masses of iterative learning and exploration of possibilities.
Great kindergarten technology project by Kim Cofino. Students use KidPix to draw about what they're learning in class, then upload the images to VoiceThread and explain the image. Over the course of the year, the VoiceThread becomes an online portfolio of their learning. The VoiceThreads are also shared on a wiki so students can connect globally and get to know each other a bit.
5 minute presentation (20 slides) by Chris Lehmann on school reform and what we need for School 2.0. Several good lines in here--a bunch of memorable ideas packed into a few minutes. Assessment should be projects, not tests. Data is what kids do every day, not what they do on a test. Passion, metacognition, and lifelong learning matter. "If you want to see what kids have learned, give them a project."
Looking at the resistance to change in education and the need for 21st century skills, with an intriguing perspective on how this connects to our attitudes about ADHD, Asperger's, and other cognitive disabilities.
This is why - I think unconsciously - so many academics and educators resist contemporary ICT so fiercely. Accepting these new technologies means that the advantages they were taught to prize in themselves - their study habits, their ability to focus, their willingness to depend on authoritative sources and to observe classroom rules - might prove to be their undoing. And the disadvantages they despised in others, ADHD for example, processing information via pictures instead of the abstraction of text as another, the disadvantages that have been labelled as pathological "disabilities," might prove to be advantageous in this new world.
That ADHD kid might be far better in front of multiple monitors with a dozen windows open and 15 tabs going in Firefox than the professor and former high school valedictorian who is really uncomfortable if a TV is on while she is reading. That Asperger's kid who processes images efficiently might be far better at analysing changing maps than the text-dependent historian.
I feel the same watching most classrooms, seeing most reading assignments, observing how assessments are conducted in educational institutions. Yes, that carriage is wonderful, but the cars will rush past it. Yes, that calligraphy is beautiful but you just spent six months creating a single book. Certainly, that bronze sword is beautiful but the steel weapon will cut it in half. Yes, you did wonderfully on the multiple-choice exam but I need people who can find information and develop new ideas, not repeat what I already know. Yes, you read that whole book, but I need to know the range of observations from these twelve sources around the globe.
NETS-T 2008 standards--technology standards for teachers in 5 categories.
1. Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity
2. Design and Develop Digital-Age Learning Experiences and Assessments
3. Model Digital-Age Work and Learning
4. Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibility
5. Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership
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