Education World – Marissa King
“As the end-of-school bell rings, middle schoolers immediately reach into sweatshirt pockets and colorful backpacks to reunite with their smartphones. Suddenly, the frenzy of voices is joined by the ding of new messages. Amidst the clanging lockers, students pose for photos with friends and giggle at the latest Snapchat filters. Even goodbye waves are accompanied with reminders to send messages or add each other to the latest group chat.” (more)
Edutopia – Jennifer Osborne
“Collaboration, critical thinking, communication, and creativity are the 4 Cs of a 21st-century learner, according to the Partnership for 21st Century Learning. Given that technology use continues to expand in schools, it’s worthwhile to think of how that technology can function in assignments designed to develop the skills our students need.” (more)
E-School News – Gregory Firn
“The learning spectrum is broad: On one end, there’s the student who loves a challenge; at the other exists one who consistently doubts his or her ability to successfully complete that challenge—and there are countless other types of students in between. Whether students are best suited to a traditional lecture, independent reading, or working with peers in a more visual environment, it’s well known that no two learn in the same manner.” (more)
Ed Surge – Shuchi Grover
“But the big question is: Does current K-12 education equip every student with the requisite skills to become innovators and problem-solvers, or even informed citizens, to succeed in this world with pervasive computing? Since the turn of this century, the “4C’s of 21st century” skills—critical thinking, creativity, collaboration and communication—have seen growing recognition as essential ingredients of school curricula. This shift has prompted an uptake in pedagogies and frameworks such as project-based learning, inquiry learning, and deeper learning across all levels of K-12 that emphasize higher order thinking over rote learning. I argue that we need computational thinking (CT) to be another core skill—or the “5th C” of 21st century skills—that is taught to all students.” (more)
News Herald – Juliann Talkington
Technology is changing so fast, it is impossible to know what the world will be like in a year, much less four or five. Just 25 years ago, the Internet was still in its infancy, mobile phones were just gaining popularity, and genetically modified foods were not yet on the market. Now we are worried about biological computers, electronic currencies, and the health impacts of genetically modified foods.
For decades, education experts encouraged schools to track kids into narrow areas like molecular biology, medieval history, copyright law, or Fortran programming. As technology advanced, the lines between disciplines began to disappear and some areas vanished.
Now a person’s long-term employment prospects are based on his/her ability to quickly learn new things, interact with others, and change. This means everyone needs a strong understanding of all the disciplines including the arts, math, history, science, languages, etc. In addition, employers need people who can communicate, listen, and empathize with others; have a strong work ethic; and possess good character. This means our kids need a completely different type of education than we did when we were growing up.
Here is a list of the skill gaps that exist in our education system and parenting approaches.
1. Ability to think critically and assess and analyze information
The problem often develops in elementary school. Primary school teachers need strong proficiency in this area.
Students need practice working with others. Schools are not structured to provide exposure to different ages.
Schools/parents want stability. Students need exposure to change.
Students need opportunities to start new programs, etc.
5. Effective Written and Oral Communication
Schools need step by step teaching approaches and effective ways to assess proficiency.
6. Curious, Imaginative, Creative
Schools should foster these abilities with short creative blocks during the teaching day.
Parents need to demonstrate acceptable behavior.
8. Polished and Courteous
Parents need to teach their children basic life skills – allow others to finish speaking before you begin, chew with your mouth closed, etc.
Parents should discuss world affairs and technological advances with their kids.
10. Strong work ethic
Parents need to teach their children about self-discipline, punctuality, follow-through, etc. and then allow them to experience consequences when they do not deliver.
Once we realize what worked in the 1900s no longer makes sense today, we can work together to make sure our kids are ready for life on their own.
Edutopia – Maurice J. Elias
“When we talk about social skills and social and emotional learning (SEL), an important element is understanding the nuances of language, as well as the the context, the situation, we are in with others. Communication in the English language is not simple, even for native speakers.” (more)