Monday, December 20, 2010


The first line in Chapter One of 21st Century Skills states, "we are currently preparing students for jobs that don't yet exist...using technologies that heven't yet been order to solve problems we don't even know are problems yet." I think this statement sums up what the 21st Century Skills are all about. We, as educators, need to learn from the past in order to help our future. We need to create lessons that cause students to critically think for and by themselves to be able to solve any problems they may encounter. Not only should our students be able to read, write, and apply mathematical skills, but also create answers to problems by themselves, with only guidance from the teacher. We should expect a lot out of our students, but when they are old enough to "be in the real world" there is going to be a lot that is expected of them so starting now should prepare them for success. And we also need to keep in mind that this knowledge should not come to our students naturally. These skills should be modeled, practiced, and modeled, and practiced over and over, until students become accustomed to learning and thinking with this "new" knowledge. Once students prove that they understand these skills, we should model and practice these skills once more to reinforce the importance of independence and the always-seeking-information-and-self-improvement attitude. Doing this will help ensure that students can be ready for a future where they will encounter jobs, technologies, and problems that do not exist yet.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Section 6 Learning for Life - Building a Better World

The last section of the book summarized the ideas of 21st Century Skills changing our world. Education has always been important, but most recently has been seen "as the golden ticket to a brighter economic future." How we educate our chidren now depends on how successful they will be in the future which in turn determines how our own future will be. Section 6 reflected on our recent global recession. Stating that our tough times now is a glimpse of the future and what a lack of education can bring. Even though these times are difficult, they serve as an important lesson of what we need to fix so we can bring a bigger and better change of life. No one wants to live a life of worry, depression, struggling families, or unproductive economies. So what do we do about it?! We step up and help to make a difference! We give our children the skills necessary to secure a job and to contribute to their economy. And because all countries can benefit from these 21st Century Skills, we should share our ideas and even get more ideas from each other. If we all have the same goal in mind, and can cooperate to achieve this goal, we will be better prepared for a bright future. Students are already learning together and communicating through global networking, why can't we? "Students are already making a difference in our 21st century world." When we put effort towards providing a learning atmosphere where students can take risks and make their own discoveries, students dive into the depths of learning, instead of skimming the surface. Many teachers have discovered this, and have found that students are capable of doing much more than anyone ever thought they could! Children are natural-born problem seekers and solvers, we just need to provide them with an environment where they can practice that. As long as the problems we provide are meaningful, "there are few limits to what students will learn to help solve the problem." We need to know our students inside and out. We need to know what they love and care about so we can harness that passion to fully engage our students, and use 21st Century Skills to create meaningful and memorable knowledge that they can use to solve problems. Students should not be expected to graduate and automatically know how to do all of this, they will need lots of practice to become 21st Century Learners, and we need to be the people that give them that practice and guidance. "It's time to give all our students the chance to learn how to build a better world."

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Section 5 Retooling Schooling

Section 5
Retooling Schools
This chapter identifies five support systems that can work together to support 21st century learning, understanding and skills performance. These support systems take a look at standards, assessments, curriculum and instruction, professional development and learning environment. If we look at standards we find them set up to find out what our children should be learning. However, for the 21st century learner we need to look at what students should be able to do with the content that we teach. 21st century standards will also include levels of mastery for a standard from novice level to expert. (p.126) Today’s standards have been designed for the way we test which has made teachers focus on coverage rather than depth of understanding. Not only is this a national trend we find it to be true in a global sense as well. Despite what we are going through we need to focus on developing standards that focus on real-world problems that promote learning across all disciplines. (p.129) We also need to look at designing standards that the depth increases as students progress through the grade levels and promote looking at the big idea over long periods of time. Assessment is the second support system to look at for change. We all know that assessment is crucial to learning; it guides instruction and provides feedback. Unfortunately we are getting what we measure and finding ourselves teaching to the test. This type of teaching has often focused students on memorizing the content as well as causing stressful learning experiences. 21st century assessment is focused on the deeper understanding and applied knowledge that can come from rigorous learning projects. (p.131) A combination of summative and formative evaluation that measure content knowledge, basic skills, higher order thinking skills, and deep comprehension and understanding, is needed for educating the whole child. This third support system needed to retool schools is how we design curriculum and instruction. Basically providing a curriculum based upon using inquiry, design, and collaborative learning projects that include a blend of the learning methods is needed for the 21st century. Providing professional development for teachers in the 21st century is another key component of retooling schools. The following characteristics are needed to provide essential professional development: a) engaging teachers in designing, implementing, managing, and assessing learning activities and projects that reflect their own values and beliefs, b) incorporating teacher’s own questions, issues and challenges and the latest research c) collaborate experiences and expertise of other teachers d) connect teacher’s work with students and teacher’s curriculum e) provide ongoing support through modeling, coaching, and mentoring f) intergrading all aspects of school change, reform and transformation. (p.139) The final component of retooling schools is the learning environment. “Building 21st century “whole environments for the whole child” involves changes in the educational use of space and time, technology , and communities and leadership.” (p.139) In the future we will need to look at using our school facilities as a “learning studio” for not only students but the entire community. This chapter looked at five key components that if implemented correctly will change the focus on how we educate students in the United States.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Section 4 Lit Circle Summary

So much info so little time
Let’s start out with a quote “our problems are man- made, therefore they may be solved by man, and no problem of human destiny is beyond human beings.” John F. Kennedy.
The method that uses the power of designing solutions to problem is called designs based learning, or just design.
The learning method based on the power of question is called inquiry – based learning or just inquiry. These are the center of 21st century approach to learning.
Learning the P’s and Q’s,
Learning the problem
Questing at the right time.
The problem- question and inquiry at the heart of learning and understanding. Learning though solving problems.
The Skills are problem solving, communication, collaboration, information and ICT literacy, flexibility and adaptability, self- direction, leadership, and responsibility.
Creativity though projects arts use to be the traditional source for developing creativity. Now it is skills from everyone is now science, technology, engineering, and math “STEM”.
Evidence that projects learning works.
We have been doing 50 year research collaborate small group learning. There are significant benefits for students who work together on learning activities compared to students who work alone. Project learning methods project outcomes. Project outcomes are tied to curriculum and learning goals. Driving questions and problems lead students to the central concepts or principles of the topic or subject area. Student investigations and research involve inquiry and knowledge building. Students are responsible for designing and managing much of their own learning. Projects are based on authentic, real- world problems and questions that students care about.
The problems based on learning… a type of project learning, problem based learning involves projects focused on solving completely, real world problems. Design- based learning a team of students collaboratively designing an educational web site, obstacles to collaborate inquiry and design learning.
Research results are clear that the benefits of collaborative learning are great, and making collaborative team learning work well requires care a number of points including the following selecting compatible team members and defining team rules of the road that support positive collaboration, choosing group a activities that benefit from the differing viewpoints and experiences of team members, using discussion strategies to support deeper learning among team members.

Monday, November 22, 2010

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Blabberize Lesson

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Section 3

My assigned section touched on Digital Literacy Skills and Career and Life Skills. Expectations on 21st century learners is at a new level. Traditional skills such as communication and collaboration are now viewed in a whole new way. They are literally connected to the entire world with a touch of the finger. Whether at work, home, school or in the community, 21st century learners will have higher demands on accessing, evaluating and utilizing information that is now available at exponential rates. Surrounded by digital media and media choices, students now must choose the best and most effective way to analyze and create. They must also keep in mind the risks that accompany the popular networks such as Facebook and YouTube. The digital literacy skills are continually evolving but also essential for success in the modern world.
It seems to me that in many ways, students have it easier because of all the resources so readily available but on the flip side, that can also become detrimental if one does not possess the skills to sort through and make the most of it all.
Chapter 5 was on Career and Life Skills and the point was made that one of the few areas that is unchanging is the universal need to organize work into projects with time schedules and limited resources. That is why the ability to adapt and practice "flex-ability" is a requirement. An example was given of students serving as a "tech support" team for their school, helping teachers solve technology problems as they arise. I see this as a real usable idea at all levels. It not only benefits the students but assists teachers with staying on top of ever changing technology. The point was made that work teams scattered about the globe and connected by technology are now the norm.
The challenge becomes how to ensure that students have an opportunity to learn all of the described 21st century skills and yet balance it with the core subjects needed for a well rounded education.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

21st Century Challenge

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

21st Century Learner

This picture shows a child standing near the 21st century skills. His hands
open and accepting of learning these new technology terms.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Book Cover

I picked this image because to acquire 21st century skills you have to be a risktaker.  Ristakers have to make adjustments or they will be out of the game.  Educators will need to develop risking skills to stay in the game to provide students with the technology skills needed for their future. 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

21st Century Skills Section 1

I am sooo sorry it has taken me so long to post this. I have had so many problems just getting into the different sites AND my internet isn't working properly.
SO here goes.
Well , I enjoyed reading the first chapter-felt it was interesting and eye opening. I am sure I could find some of the statistics online somewhere-but haven't. They way society is going with technology-is eye opening to me-If everything and everyone becomes so HIGH TECH what will happen to the 'normal jobs' that have to have manual labor? This worries me as we can't all be working with technology. The study explaing how our students graduating from secondary schools lack in a variety of areas causes concern from me also. Communication Skills and Work ethics are so important...we are spending billions of dollars on those issues -why because somewhere down the road they are missing out on those skills.

To Quote: The 21st century challenges each of us to build and maintain our own identity from our given tradions and form the wide variety of traditions all around us. At the same time we must all learn to apply tolerance and compassion for the different identities and values of others." This is very true-because the future holds many surprises for all to learn , accept and grow with.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Section 2

Section 2 of this book begins with the idea that four forces are at work which are creating the need for new forms of learning in the 21st century. They are knowledge work, thinking tools, digital lifestyles and learning research. Knowledge workers are needed to create and innovate new products and services that solve real problems and meet the needs of real customers. This is a driving force for economic growth in this century. Technology and digital devices and services-the thinking tools of our time-may be the most potent forces for change.Today, attempting to memorize all of the facts and knowledge in any field is impossible, but can be accessed with a quick Internet search. This being said, knowing a field's core ideas and principles will never become outdated. Today's young people are the first generation to know more about the most powerful tools for change in our society than their elders and this is changing both family and school dynamics. A one-size-fits-all factory model and one-way broadcast approach to learning does not work well for these students. Learning research tells us that context or authentic learning is much more influential than previously thought. Students need more real-world problem solving to make learning last and be useful. Research also shows that when people have an emotional connection to what is being learned, it can be sustained longer. Both face-to-face and virtual collaborations online have been shown to increase motivation and create better results. How to personalize learning and how to differentiate instruction are two of our greatest challenges for this century. There still is resistance to these changes, but schools are trying to find a balance between focusing on applied skills and learning processes and teaching basic skills and content knowledge. A 21st century education for every child will enable all other challenges that we will face to be met.
Section 3 focuses on identifying 21st century skills and specifically on learning and innovation skills. Critical thinking, problem solving, communication, collaboration, creativity and innovation fall under this umbrella. The first two skills are considered to be the new basics for 21st century learning. Research has shown that it is not necessary to master the content before putting it to use. Actually, using knowledge as it is being learned has shown to increase motivation and learning outcomes. The new revised taxonomy provides proof that the processes can be learned at the same time or even in reverse order.Communication and collaboration are best learned socially, either face-to-face or by virtual means. Traditional education's focus on facts, memorization, basic skills and test taking has not been good for the development of creativity and innovation. One of the most effective ways to develop these skills is through design challenge projects in which students must invent solutions to real-world problems. These skills are essential for learning, work and life in this century.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New Book Cover

I like what this picture represents. The new graduate is technologically and figuratively "on top of the world." Today's students are leaving high school globally connected and prepared for their adult years in a whole new way.

Monday, October 25, 2010

New Cover for 21st Century Skills

I chose this picture because technology is so widely known/used that it is becoming common and even expected among young people!

Friday, October 22, 2010

This image reflects the speed at which our knowledge and use of technology are growing in this century. We, as educators, need to keep pace so that we can prepare our students for what lies ahead.

book Image

The only thing on the book cover that represents technology to me is the writing.
My new book cover is the following
I know that this is only part of technology that is out there but it is about what I use in a day

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Welcome to Literature Circle Nineteen!

Your Super Summarizer schedule is as follows:

Section One--Due October 28, Phyllis Erfman
Section Two--Due November 4, Peggy Moreno
Section Three--Due November 11, Carolyn Jensen
Section Four--Due November 18, Andra Swanson
Section Five--Due December 2, Kimberly Roberts
Section Six--Due December 9, Amber McClure