21st Century Skills

Modernizing your instructional practices

Modernize Your Instructional Practice in 11 Ways

Categories: 21st Century Skills, Instruction

In our new book, The Quest for Learning, we ask teachers to consider how they might make their instructional practices more contemporary. We’ve talked to literally hundreds of teachers as we explore some of the facets of “right now” interests and skills, and we’d like to share some of what we’ve discovered. Note that this is not an exhaustive list of questions, just a few that were generated from our work with teachers over the last few years and have influenced what we wrote in the new book. If you have some of the same questions about how you might make your practices more contemporary, we invite you to consider the following: Read more

Why Games Work: Game Design Theory and Why It Can Be So Enthralling

Categories: 21st Century Skills, Instruction, Technology

Based on The Quest For Learning: How To Maximize Student Engagement

Have you ever tried to pry yourself or someone else away from an immersive experience? You might hear back, “Just a few more minutes … then I can stop,” or “When I figure this out, then it is a good time to take a pause.” The real value of games is in how they balance problem solving and engagement. They do this with no sense of failure but rather a commitment to hope and gamers’ genuine belief that if they keep trying and working, they will win. Read more

5 Trends in Educational Technology for the 2017–18 School Year

Categories: 21st Century Skills, Technology

I don’t read the latest fashion trends, but when it comes to educational technology, I want to make sure I agree with the trends and how they align with my work with educators and students. One of the trends is computer coding (coding) in K12 schools. This is happening today with clever tutorials, gadgets, and special events like The Hour of Code, sponsored by the nonprofit Code.org. President Trump signed a memorandum for STEM education funding, which devotes at least $200 million per year for grant funds to be used by K12 and postsecondary schools to expand access to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and computer science programs. Read more

Simplified and Personalized: Formative Assessments

Categories: 21st Century Skills, Assessment

Based on The Quest For Learning: How To Maximize Student Engagement

In many classrooms, assessment is still an event. It might be an end-of-unit event, a benchmark event, or a “because it’s Friday” event. Whatever the assessment reason, inviting a more formative approach gives opportunities for frequent feedback in a couple of different ways.

  1. It shows the learner how well they are progressing toward a particular target, skill, or standard.
  2. It shows the learner which strategies work best for the learner to reach their targets.

In The Quest For Learning: How To Maximize Student Engagement (2017), we propose a simplified descriptive rubric to help teachers manage formative feedback, both at the beginning of a learning scenario and throughout it. Read more