Obviously tech skills need to be there. You can’t get a good job today unless you know how to type and how a computer works. I think technology needs to become one of the core skills taught, right along with reading, writing, math, science, etc. Technology curriculum needs to move away from introductions to technology, such as “This is a computer. This is how it works” and into technology integration, such as “Here is how we’re going to use our computers to solve these real-world problems”. One thing I’ve read about that is a concern for me with my child is the ability to solve complex problems. This is a skill sometimes called deep thinking, or critical thinking. The fear is that in today’s on-demand, instant gratification world, the upcoming generation will lose the ability to solve a problem that doesn’t have an answer immediately available, or has more than one right answer. We need to make sure that students learn to be able to sit and ponder something and carefully think through all the options and outcomes before arriving at the best solution. I also think that communication and collaboration skills need to be a top priority. One disadvantage of technology is the “silo” effect where we become disengaged from each other. I think that skills which are currently taken for granted may need to be taught outright, such as face-to-face communication, or the value of a handshake. Students need to learn how to use technology tools to share information with each other. They need to know how to present information in a clear and concise manor, and how to work on a team to achieve a goal. They also will need to learn when technology is not appropriate, and when it isn’t appropriate, how to communicate their ideas directly.I believe that as the current students graduate and enter the workforce, the ones that are going to be the most successful are the ones that know how to communicate and collaborate well with each other, and have the ability to solve complex problems.
Great question Dan. My 2 kids and my 500 students are ready to exercise their 21st century skills by going deeper and taking things to application. I think tech is a big player in this but the pedagogy must some before the tools.
Technology will play a big part in teaching and learning. It will be the main source of information for students who will learn and take assessments online. This will allow each individual to learn at their own pace. They will be able to spend more time on the material which they have not mastered and be able to use suitable tutorial sites that are appropriate to their level of understanding. With online learning they will be able to advance in the subjects that they are good at instead of having to wait until the next grade level like in the past. The 21st century school model will use technology as the principle knowledge provider. Education will have to be personalized and schedules will have to be flexible to allow individual exploration and personalized learning. Instead of delivering content, teachers will focus on essential skills to prepare students to persevere and possess the ability to succeed in a competitive world. Educators will focus on teaching analytical skills, creative thinking, collaboration, critical thinking and creating inventors. Future education will concentrate on creative problem solving skills and learning from doing. The goal is to create individuals that will influence and change society.Is our district prepared for this task?