21st Century Skills

The Rise of the Global Digital Citizen

Categories: 21st Century Skills, Instruction, Technology

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” —Margaret Mead

When we woke up one August morning in 1991, the World Wide Web had officially been introduced into our lives. It seemed like a novelty at first, but then it began to attract more and more curiosity and interest as we explored its potential. Today our level of global interconnectedness is staggering, and the Internet has been incorporated into many facets of human life. We have become very aware of the need to understand this continuous rapid change and forecast parameters of safety for our most vulnerable users. Read more

Collaboration with global partners should encourage equitable learning.

One Classroom, One World: Lowering the Schoolhouse Walls through Global Partnerships

Categories: 21st Century Skills

Educated in schools designed as “open schools” for their floor plans and progressive philosophies, I found the concept of a “classroom without walls” easy to embrace when I became a teacher. For my peers and me growing up, the walls of the building were only there to support the roof—most learning took place outside the schoolhouse entirely, whether through local wilderness and city immersion experiences or domestic and global travel. I don’t remember ever feeling disconnected from the world, honestly, even when I felt powerless to do anything about the human conflict and poverty I saw, and this was long before we had the Internet. Later, as a teacher, I used every means I could find to connect my students to real people willing to share their experiences and perspectives, and the arrival of connective technologies just shifted the form of engagement, not the intent. Read more

In the 21st Century, it is necessary to Learn, Unlearn, and Re-Learn

21st Century Learning, Unlearning, Re-learning

Categories: 21st Century Skills

The 21st Century teacher leader is the one who can learn, unlearn, and relearn. These words offer a truth that is as relevant today as it was when Toeffler wrote it in Future Shock, 1970. In honor of his passing this past June, I had revisited this prophetic book that had made such an impression on me and I realized that these words are indeed, alive and well in 2017.

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Gaming can increase learning

Leveling Up in the Classroom

Categories: 21st Century Skills, Assessment

Introduction: Ryan Schaaf

Gaming has become a ubiquitous part of modern-day culture. And it’s not surprising – many of life’s early lessons are learned in the form of play or in a game. As parents, we play games like peek-a-boo, hide and seek, and patty cake to amuse our little ones, while simultaneously teaching them life skills such as rules, cooperation, competition, and ethical behavior. Contemporary American author Diane Ackerman summed it up best when she stated, “Play is our brain’s favorite way of learning.” Educators are left with a powerful question: Is using games a valuable strategy for teaching, learning, and assessing in the modern-day classroom? Read more