5 critical 21st century skills that go way beyond the 4 Cs

Teach students to think like entrepreneurs with these skill sets

21st-century-skillsSince the publication of his highly impactful book, The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century, Thomas Friedman has been teaching his readers and listeners to think differently about our world and how we interact with each other. Friedman consistently talks about new skill sets that are required for anyone who wants to not only survive but truly thrive in the hyper-connected world that is life in the 21st century.

Educators have been tackling a new mindset for student learning for nearly two decades. In the early 2000s, when as a nation as we sat at the dawn of the 21st century, The Partnership for 21st Century Learning (formerly The Partnership for 21st Century Skills) introduced the education community to a Framework for 21st Century Learning, which highlighted 18 different skills. Over time leaders from a broad spectrum of business and education communities narrowed the focus to concentrate on a set of skills that came to be known as the 4Cs—communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity.

The goal was to have the 4Cs integrated with the “3Rs” that had served as the backbone of American curricula for centuries. As the K-12 education community continues the work of embedding the 4Cs into all content areas, the world continues to evolve and we find ourselves once again considering what it is all students must know and be able to do by the time they graduate from high school.…Read More

Before reading or watching videos, students should experiment first

Mind/Shift reports that a new study from the Stanford Graduate School of Education flips upside down the notion that students learn best by first independently reading texts or watching online videos before coming to class to engage in hands-on projects. Studying a particular lesson, the Stanford researchers showed that when the order was reversed, students’ performances improved substantially. While the study has broad implications about how best to employ interactive learning technologies, it also focuses specifically on the teaching of neuroscience and underscores the effectiveness of a new interactive tabletop learning environment, called BrainExplorer, which was developed by Stanford GSE researchers to enhance neuroscience instruction…

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Seven misconceptions about how students learn

Will Rogers once said, “It isn’t what people don’t know that hurts them. It’s what they do know that just ain’t so.”
That’s the introduction to a list of seven myths about learning on the website of the Independent Curriculum Group, which is part of a movement of leading private college preparatory schools with teacher-generated curriculum, the Washington Post reports. Many people — educators included — still cling to some of these misconceptions about learning because they base what they think on their own experiences in school, ignoring what 21st century science and experience are revealing. Here are seven of the biggest myths about learning that, unfortunately, guide the way that many schools are organized in this era of standardized test-based public school reform…

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Spring Station Middle School owes its success to ‘trying different things’

Spring Station Middle School's dedication to learning with technology made it the first "eSchool of the Month."

The first institution to be highlighted in our brand-new “eSchool of the Month” series is Spring Station Middle School (SSMS) in Tennessee’s Williamson County Schools. SSMS serves about 700 students in grades 6-8 and “seeks to be a leader in student integration of ed tech,” according to Assistant Principal Timothy Drinkwine.

Here, Drinkwine shares the school’s secrets to success. (SSMS will be featured in the May print edition of eSchool News. To nominate your own school or district for this award, go to http://www.eschoolnews.com/school-of-the-month.)

How does your school use technology to advance student learning?…Read More