Wednesday, September 28, 2016

6 Skills Students Today Must Develop

You know the drill.  Our job as innovative educators is to prepare students for success in the 21st century, but what does that really mean? The 21st Century Learning Design rubric provides a great lens to help you see if you are ensuring students are developing the skills they’ll need for success when they move on to college and careers.
Here are the six skills:
Collaboration
Are students required to share responsibility and make substantive decisions with other people? Is their work interdependent?
Knowledge construction
Are students required to construct and apply knowledge? Is that knowledge interdisciplinary?
Self-regulation
Is the learning activity long-term? Do students plan and assess their own work, and revise their work based on feedback?
Real-world problem-solving and innovation
Does the learning activity require solving authentic, real-world problems? Are students’ solutions implemented in the real world?
Use of information & communications tech for learning
Are students passive consumers of ICT, active users, or designers of an ICT product for an authentic audience?
Skilled communication
Are students required to communicate their own ideas regarding a concept or issue? Must their communication be supported with evidence and designed with a particular audience in mind?
What is great about this framework is it gives you tools for looking at each skill.  

These include the following:
  • Overview
  • Key questions
  • Rubric
  • Flowchart

Here is a flavor of what some of the components look like.

Overview
This provides an overview of definitions of key concepts and related examples.  

Key questions
Consider if you are fostering the skill by asking yourself important questions. Here is what this looks like when considering collaboration:

Rubric
The rubric helps you assign each learning activity a number from 1 to 4, according to how strongly it offers opportunities to develop a given skill. Here is an example for real world problem-solving and innovation.
Flow Chart
There is a flow chart to help you think about where you fall on the rubric.  Here is what that looks like for self regulation.
So what do you think? Are these skills you are fostering in your classroom?  Does this give you a useful framework to think about it?  What do you like? What might you use in your work? You can check out the whole framework here.
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