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Updated by Sarah Penn on Jun 10, 2014
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Sarah Penn Sarah Penn
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Learning in the 21st Century

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21st Century Skills: What Do We Do?

21st Century Skills: What Do We Do?

“The future of the U.S. workforce is here and it is woefully ill-prepared…” High school graduates are deficient in written communication, problem solving, critical thinking, professionalism, and work ethic. This is because our educational system is built for the “Industrial Revolution,” but our students live in the “Digital Revolution.” Three steps to guide them in the right direction are to start with a solid foundation, add direction to their exploration, and create opportunities for application throughout the community. Their tomorrows are here today.

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Engage Me!

Engage Me!

These students are 21st Century learners who use the computer every day. They know how to blog and podcast, but often wonder if their teachers do. If they write a story in a book, their teacher is the only one to read it. However, if they post a story online, over 2,000 people read it. They want to be involved in their own learning and join in with other learners globally. They want to be engaged!

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A Vision of K-12 Students Today

A Vision of K-12 Students Today

Students will use engaging technologies in collaborative, inquiry-based learning environments with teachers who are willing and able to use technology’s power to assist them in transforming knowledge and skills into products, solutions, and new information. The students show the difference between their parents and teachers use of technology and their own use of technology. They are begging for the ability to use technology to help teach them how to think, create, analyze, evaluate, and apply by using the www – whatever, whenever, and wherever. They are digital learners.

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A Vision of Students Today

A Vision of Students Today

This vision of students today was made by 200 students that edited the document 367 times and surveyed themselves before making the video. Their message clearly shows that these college students have large class sizes, the professors rarely know their names, they have wasted money on classes and textbooks, the amount of books read vs. web pages read are drastically different, they must learn to multi-task in order to complete everything each day, and many of them will have a job that doesn’t even exist today. The professor writes on the chalkboard that eliminates photos, videos, animations, and networking in which the students are accustomed too.

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21st Century Literacy

21st Century Literacy

A profound shift is taking place in the way people communicate. Literacy is evolving and 21st Century skills are required. Literacy is not only knowing how to read and write, but also being fluent in visual, aural, and textual elements. It also implies the ability to speak and write as well as to read. A 21st Century learner encourages interaction with an audience which requires a change in the way we teach and learn.

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21st Century Learning Matters

21st Century Learning Matters

Children need to direct their own learning, think critically, and adapt to the ever changing global society. Content knowledge is important, but not enough to live in the 21st Century. Assessments must align with 21st Century skills and knowledge. Schools need to reinvent themselves as learning organizations. The vision for 21st Century learning must be incorporated into standards, curriculum and assessments.

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Teaching the 21st Century Learner

Teaching the 21st Century Learner

The 19th Century traditions became the 20th Century practices. Nothing changed, but the times. Traditional teaching methods have become outdated. Today’s students are a part of the Digital Generation. They are technologically savvy, collaborative, globally connected, creative, and innovative. In order to reach them, our thinking, teaching and education have to change. We must engage them and meet them in their learning space.

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Rethinking Learning: The 21st Century Learner

Rethinking Learning: The 21st Century Learner

The “gamers” are bottom-line orientated and want to be measured. They want to see how much they are improving. They feel if they are learning, then it’s not fun. In the 21st Century, it has become important to learn the tools and skills into remaking the content and becoming the creator or producer.

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Pay Attention - Final Cut

Pay Attention - Final Cut

Today’s learners are digital learners. They have spent over 10,000 hours playing video games, over 10,000 hours talking on cell phones, and 20,000 hours watching television. Over 70% of our nation’s 4 to 6 year-olds have used a computer. These digital learners have sent and received over 200,000 emails or instant messages. The 19th and 20th Century spoke of the three R’s as Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic. The 21st Century’s three R’s are Rigor, Relevance, and Relationships. Since cell phones have been invented to connect us all together and students already know how to use them, why aren’t we using them to teach?