21st Century Tools 21st Century Schoolsexternal image blank.gif

Ian Jukes and Frank Kelly:
  1. Ian Jukes – has a funny way of detailing our digital generation and gives statistics about these youth. http://www.committedsardine.com/index.cfm
  2. Digital Youth Research: http://digitalyouth.ischool.berkeley.edu/

The 21st Century Skills
From the Metiri Group. http://www.metiri.com/Solutions/21st_century_skills.html
Metiri Group Resources: http://www.metiri.com/resources.html

Digital Age Literacy-Today's Basics* Basic, Scientific, and Technological Literacies
  • As society changes, the skills that citizens need to negotiate the complexities of life also change. In the early 1900s, a person who had acquired simple reading, writing, and calculating skills was considered literate. In recent years, we've come to expect that all students will be able to read critically, write persuasively, think and reason logically, and solve complex problems.
  • Visual and Information LiteracyThe graphic user interface of the World Wide Web, advances such as digital cameras, graphics packages, and streaming video, and the convergence of voice, video, and data into a common digital format have increased the use of visual imagery dramatically. Students need good visualization skills to be able to decipher, interpret, detect patterns, and communicate using this imagery. In addition, they need to be able to access information efficiently, evaluate it critically, and use it accurately.
  • Cultural Literacy and Global AwarenessThe world is rapidly becoming wired, and the resulting globalization of commerce has increased the need for cultural literacy. In such a global economy, the ability to know, understand, and appreciate other cultural formations - including those established by technological society, such as virtual realities - is key to a competitive edge.
Inventive Thinking-Intellectual Capital* Adaptability/Managing Complexity
  • The interconnectedness of today's world brings with it unprecedented complexity. Interaction in such an environment requires individuals able to plan, design and manage in new ways. Such individuals can handle contingencies, anticipate changes, and understand interdependencies among systems.
  • Curiosity, Creativity and Risk-TakingResearchers now understand how the very structure of the brain can be changed through intellectual pursuits-"there is a corresponding relationship between the amount of experience in a complex environment and the amount of structural change in the brain-in other words, learning organizes and reorganizes the brain." Curiosity fuels lifelong learning just as it contributes to quality of life and to the intellectual capital of a country. Equally important is risk taking-without which there would be few quantum leaps in discoveries, inventions, and learning.
  • Higher Order Thinking and Sound ReasoningFor decades, research has called for higher order thinking and sound reasoning in P-12 curricula. Thinking skills have been defined as the ability to think creatively, make decisions, solve problems, and see things in the mind's eye, whereas sound reasoning enables students to plan, design, execute, and evaluate solutions. These processes are often carried out more effectively using technology.
Interactive Communication-Social and Personal Skills* Teaming and Collaboration
  • The rapid pace of today's society has caused a downward shift in the level of decision-making. At the same time, the complexity of the 21st century requires a high degree of specialization by decision-makers-hence the need for the teaming of specialists to accomplish tasks efficiently, effectively and in a timely manner. Information technology such as email, faxes, voice mail, audio and videoconferencing, chat rooms, shared documents, and virtual workspaces, can facilitate and enhance collaboration.
  • Personal and Social ResponsibilityEmerging technologies often present ethical dilemmas. As complexity increases, society needs new values to guide the application of science and technology and to manage the use of powerful new tools at the personal, community, and governmental levels. It is important for students to grasp this responsibility and contribute as informed citizens.
  • Interactive CommunicationIn this digital age, it is imperative that students understand how to communicate using technology. This includes asynchronous and synchronous communication, such as person-to-person email interactions, listservs, group interactions in virtual learning spaces, chat rooms, MOOs, MUDs, interactive videoconferencing, phone/audio interactions, and interactions through simulations and models. These technologies add new dimensions to communication that must be mastered, including etiquette unique to particular environments, scheduling over time zones, and cultural/language issues.
Quality, State-of-the-Art Results* Prioritizing, Planning, and Managing for Results
  • High levels of complexity require careful planning, managing, and anticipating contingencies. This means more than simply concentrating on reaching the main goals of a project or keeping an eye on project outcomes; it requires the flexibility, creativity, and the ability to anticipate unexpected outcomes as well.
  • Effective Use of Real-World ToolsDoug Henton describes three types of knowledge important to today's economy: Know-what, Know-how, and Know-who. Choosing appropriate tools for a task and applying them to real-world situations in ways that add significant value results in increased collaboration, promotion of creativity, and the development of useful, high quality products.
  • High Quality Results with Real-World ApplicationResearchers are finding learning benefits for students who build authentic products with tools-whether they be sand castles, computer programs, documents, graphs, LEGO constructions, or musical compositions. Such experiences provide students with deep insights into whatever domain of knowledge and whatever tools they use.
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