Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I found the book difficult to get into. It was awfully dry and hard read for more than a couple of minutes at a time. It did have its good points though.

It is scary to think we are trying to teach the youth for jobs that may not even exist yet. There are many standards we are trying to teach the students everyday and 21st Century Skills have to be incorporated into these standards. Sometimes the standards lend themselves into the 21st Century Skills while other times it easier to teach a certain standard with traditional methods.

Students need to be involved with critical thinking questions and activities that promote critical thinking and problem solving to help them work toward the completion of assignments.
Teachers need to be aware of the way they are introducing the assignments so that it is promoting students to use critical thinking and problem solving and not just answering questions or completing a task. Assignments also need to help students work collaborate and communicate to complete the end product. Creativity and innovation are also a big part of 21st Century Skills.

Thinking about it just makes things seem so complicated with combining all of these skills into the standards we teach each day. Sometimes I feel instead of teachers spending so much time trying to integrate all the 21st Century Skills into lessons it might be just as important to create lessons that teach the standards to mastery for each and every students.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

reflection post

Reflection post
21st Century Skills- Learning for Life in our Times
At first, I was not into reading this book. I am not sure if I ever got into the mode of wanting to. I am not tuned into technology and not very willing to open up to it. As I read this book, I felt that we are trying to push technology on to our students and that technology was the only way to teach certain skills to our students. Students in the past have learned just fine without technology. So whatever happened to “real” teaching?
Can teachers teach skills without the use of technology? They can because it has been done for many years. The skills have changed but not to where the teachers cannot teach them without the use of technology. The skills focuses on in this book are, learning and innovation skills: critical thinking, problem solving, communication, collaboration, creativity, and innovation; career and life skills: flexibility, adaptability, initiative, self-direction, productivity, accountability, leadership, responsibility, and cross-cultural interaction; Digital literacy skills: information literacy, media literacy, and Information and communication technologies. These skills can be taught through “real” teaching. So why must we use technology?
I understand that technology is here and it is an access to learning but I do not feel that it should be the only way to teach. Technology is here to stay and it will change our lives but I do not see why we must turn over our teaching to it. As a kindergarten teacher, I find it hard to incorporate technology into my classroom. The children are not independent or do they have the basic skills to run the technology. I feel that I can teach the same skills of critical thinking, problem solving, communication, creativity, leadership, accountability and more, in my classroom to my kindergarteners without technology. I do see where technology can be incorporated to teach certain skills. The teacher is the leader and could use the tools of technology to teacher her students.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Reflection Post

21st Century Skills
I would like to first say this book scares me. I guess I am still not okay with the fact that we must start teaching children and preparing them for things that do not yet exist. I do not totally understand this concept.
I am in agreement with the fact that we are being over taken by technology and concepts that go along with it. However, I was born in the technology age and have always had it growing up, but I do not believe for one second, that this is going to take over our world. I think about how many families do not even have a regular telephone and do not have electricity at all, some without running water, etc. Is technology really going to do what they think??? I, nor will anyone ever know until it actually gets close to happening.
I think we need to take education back to reality. Let's go back to "old fashioned" teaching! As noted on page 14-15 of this book, in Table 1.2, I feel where I live is still in the Agrarian Age. There are a few areas where the Industrial Age is happening. I feel we are very far from the Knowledge Age. This books reminds me of how teaching was in the "old days." When I read books about teachers just starting out in education it is very similar to the concepts in this book, minus all the "silly technologies." I think it would be a much safer world if we went back to the ideas from the Agrarian Age.
Technology is here to stay, and I realize that. However, lets use it to help us learn and not use it as a tool we learn from. I guess I am saying that I am not really sure I am okay with all of this! I live very near the poorest county in SD. Where I live is so very far from anything I learned in this book that it makes me wonder how many other people have never even heard of this concept?? I do not think that this will no ever happen, but I do think it will not happen as fast as they are predicting. Maybe I just don't want it too!
This book was very eye-opening and I did learn about how important it is that I take my class back to reality. I am going to go back to "real" teaching!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Chapter 8: Retooling Schooling pp.117-150

Schools are complex communities which need to be equilaterally brought into 21st century learning. The interactions of student to student, teacher, administrator, board, and parents radiate beyond the walls of the building to include interactions between private businesses, community institutions, media, and the world. Each of these parties has a vested interest in moving the educational institution from the 20th to the 21st century. Shifting the educational system will require paradigm shifts in six areas: vision, coordination, official policy, leadership, learning technology, and teacher learning. Without this coordinated system change "isolated changes may generate enthusiasm for a while, but without the support necessary from the other systems to sustain the change, they almost always become short-lived 'experiments.'" (Trilling & Fadel, 2009)

The first area is sharing a common vision of 21st century skills which will focus educators, government, business, parents, and students as systems are changed. The vision must be built with activities which build consensus about the world in the future, the skills needed for that world, and the design of powerful learning experiences that prepare students for that world. Immediately following the development of a vision will be the development of official policy. Policy should address standards, goals, objectives, assessments, and the accountability as well as funding for planning and implementation. Improving technology resources and teacher training will also be critical aspects to be addressed in developing an official policy. Another critical aspect of change is leadership in 21st century teaching practices. This leadership should consist of educational leaders from the classroom up through those involved in education at the national level. These leaders must work with transparency before everyone who will be affected and benefited by this new system of education. Furthermore a broad spectrum of technology will need to be available to students and teachers to create an effective learning environment. Finally, teachers must be trained and held accountable to design learning projects and develop skills tin coaching and facilitating to support the students in this new learning environment. These elements will build a strong foundation on which to build the future of education.

Remaining at the heart of education is the development of standards which define content and skills necessary for students to succeed in the future. These standards should include all levels of mastery as well as 21st century standards for communicating, thinking, and reasoning, and personal and workplace skills including leadership, ethics, respect, responsibility, and productivity. The standards should be interdisciplinary with a focus on real-world problems. Assessments that support these standards should assess the whole child--cognitively, socially, physically, and emotionally, including the health, safety, engagement, and attitude of the student. These assessments will include essays, teacher observations, instant online quizzes, polls, and voting, blog commentaries, simulations, portfolios, and evaluations of internships, and community service. It is believed that half of instruction should be based on inquiry, design, and collaborative project learning while the other half of instruction could remain traditional. The success of this system change will be dependent on quality teacher professional development giving teachers the skills, knowledge, and support needed to be effective in the 21st century learning environment. This professional development must include engaging teachers in the design and implementation of projects as well as guiding them to develop the ability to manage and assess those projects. Teachers must be encouraged to draw from the expertise of a wider community of educators and should be engaged in modeling, mentoring, coaching, and problem solving with their colleagues. Learning environments must also be transformed to support the changes in the move toward 21st century learning and the culture which it will create withing the school. As this goal is realized learning will reach beyond the walls of the school building into real-world learning environments in the community. Education systems will be challenged to be flexible in the use of time in regard to the school calendar year, too. Mobile technology will allow students to learn anywhere, anytime as teachers, administrators, and parents search for learning opportunities outside of the school.

Ultimately the goal of this new system of learning is to move students from skills to expertise. Student experts will notice patterns and features, have a broad base of content knowledge grounded with deep understanding, can draw from that deep understanding to apply the knowledge to solve problems and do so quickly.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Chapter 6 21st Century Learning and Teaching

Chapter 6 is all about two of the most powerful learning tools: questions and problems. Throughout time, people have been carefully constructing questions about our natural world and using imagination to search for solutions to these questions. The invention of many of the things we use today started as a simple question. Two areas that thrive on gaining new knowledge and creating new ways of living are science and engineering. “Scientists approach the world with questions… Engineers and inventors on the other hand are motivated by challenging problems… Scientists use experiments to test an explanation or hypothesis, and engineers devise prototypes or create new designs to see how well their solution words.” (Thrilling & Fadel, 2009) Humans are naturally motivated by questions and problems. Even the youngest of students can be heard asking why? Finding the solution to our how and why questions helps to engage our 21st Century skills. The learning based method on the power of question is called inquiry-based learning and has been proven to engage and sustain learning and deepen understanding.

Chapter 7 Powerful Learning

The 21st Century project learning has four project phases: define, plan, do, and review. Define is the step where the question, problem, issue, or challenge is brought about to initiate the learning process. Planning is done by the group completing the project and by the teacher who is facilitating the learning groups. After the planning is done comes the doing. This is where the project is where the learning activities are completed and the results tabulated. The final stage is review where the results are shared with others and feedback is received. What is learned can often be applied to another project or sometimes to a new iteration of the same project. Both the teachers and students work together as a team through the process.

Many other items come into place while the project is being completed. The project should have ongoing assessments occurring on student learning. Pace and timing need to be incorporated to make sure the outcomes are completed on time. The team needs to have balance between the group and how much control the teacher has on the project. The project is successful when students completed most of the researching, planning, analyzing, collaborating, experimenting, evaluating, and communicating and gained a deeper understanding of science content through the hands on work and questioning that arose.

Creativity and innovation will be essential for 21st Century skills and learning. A company called IDEO took the four project phases even further. We must define a real world problem. Plan to understand the users and how real people in real life situations deal with the problem. Brainstorm techniques and designs to solve the problem and look at the positive and negative outcomes of each idea. Finally, review and refine a series of prototypes enhancing the benefits and making the designs better for the future.

Many groups have completed research to show the project learning model does work. Collaborative small-group learning has shown benefits such as better confidence, higher motivation levels, improved social interactions, and improved feeling toward other students. Also, individuals who work in groups tend to score higher on individual assessments. Project learning methods and problem-based learning showed that even though factual learning was equal to or better than traditional classroom teaching methods that students made significantly greater gains in 21st century skills. Design-based learning showed that students understood the topics better. With all the research available about how these learning models work, why are teachers not using more of these models in their classrooms?

With all things there are always obstacles. Making collaborative teams work well requires a careful selection of team members to ensure they are compatible and defining the rules to support collaboration. The activity must be one in such the team will benefit from the differing viewpoints and experiences of each team member and use discussion strategies to support deeper learning for all team members. “However, research also shows that these methods will require changes in curriculum, instruction, assessment practices, the professional development of teachers, and the learning environments that support 21st century learning.” (Trilling & Fadel, 2009)

Will teachers be willing to make the changes necessary to incorporate these models? What will districts have to do to ensure teachers are using these models to help make students not only knowledgeable about content standards but also the 21st century skills?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Super Summary-Miss Kristy-Part 3

Section 3 covered two chapters.
Chapter 4 is titled Digital Literacy Skills and Chapter 5 is titled Career and Life Skills.
Chapter 4-Let me first say that on pages 62-64, there is a great fable about an unlucky kingdom. It is great translation of the Knowledge Age. Throughout the rest of Chapter 4, the book relates to the 21st Century Knowledge and Skills Rainbow. It briefly describes Information Literacy, Media Literacy, and Information and Communication Technology Literacy (ICT).
Information Literacy-access information efficiently and effectively and also evaluate information critically and competently
Media Literacy-analyze media and create media products
ICT Literacy- apply technology effectively
The three skills are continually evolving. The skills power the learning of many other skills in the rainbow of Learning.
Chapter 5 -Work-Ready and Prepared for Life- This chapter discusses the components most often reviewed on employee evaluations
. 1. Flexibility and Adapdability- adapt to change and be flexible
2. Initiative and Self-Direction- manage golas and time, work indepently, be self-directed learners
3. Social and Cross-Cultural Interaction- interact effectively with others and work effectively in diverse teams
4. Productivity and Accountablity- manage projects and produce results
5. Leadership and Responsibility- guide and lead others and be responsible to others
The skills in Chapter 5 are essential to both work and learning in the 21st Century. Those these skills have been around for a long time, they take on a new meaning in the digital age.


Chapter 2 is titled: The Perfect Learning Storm and discusses that there are four converging forces to push us toward 21st century learning. These four forces: knowledge work, thinking tools, digital lifestyles, and learning research are all equally important and all play a major role in the life of a 21st century learner.

All of these tools are needed in order for the creation of a successful 21st century learner. As our world has developed, we have become increasingly dependent on technology as well as collaboration. This is important to recognize because these are the types of materials that should be used in lesson planning for students.
Knowledge work is identified as work that is, “done collaboratively in teams, with team members often spread across multiple locations, using a digital zoo of devices and services to coordinate their project work,” (Trilling and Fadel, 24) Basically, people need to know how to use different technologies and use them well for success in the 21st century knowledge economy.
Thinking tools are more essential that memorizing any facts. Students need to understand the fundamentals, and need to be aware that what the skills to solve problems are going to be more necessary than memorizing basic facts, they need to know that problem solving is something that will carry on, not just in elementary school, but throughout their lives.
“Net geners” or “digital natives” are people who have grown up completely submersed in technology, and these people are going to know how to navigate and use different technologies within seconds of being introduced to them. Because of this constant exposure to technologies, net geners are going to need different things and have different expectations than past students. There will be more willingness to engage in technological activities, but also, there is no “one –size fits all factory model” that these students will help these students be successful.
Learning research is allowing for five different findings that as a whole create the science of learning.
Authentic learning is allowing for the students to understand something from a real world simulation, and problem solve for what would actually need to happen for the assignment to be successful. The students are still assessed on standards but the focus is on the real world application of the activity.
Mental model building allows for both hands-on and on-screen activities to allow the students to take what they know and build onto that knowledge. This provides the availability to reflect on the model making in both forms.
Internal motivation needs to allow the students to emotionally connect to what is being assigned as work. Typically when students are internally motivated, they are willing to do the work, but if the students have a deeper, emotional connection to the work they are doing, this will more likely resonate with the student better.
Multiple Intelligences are important to remember when creating lessons so that students with different intelligences are being approached in different ways. Basically, this allows for differentiation of a lesson, so students can have a more personalized lesson.
Social learning is collaborative learning. Students need to interact with other students to be connected with others and value other peoples’ opinions and learn that they are a community of learners.
There are still different forces that are resisting this change and need to be addressed before anything will be completely effective. Students and teachers both need to understand that there is a balance that needs to be sought after. Students need to learn skills but also content, everything needs to be balanced. The biggest challenge is educating the whole student so they have a chance to collectively solve problems and work together.
Chapter 3 is titled “Learning and Innovation Skills” and this discusses how students need to learn to create together. “Critical thinking and problem solving are considered by many to be the new basics of 21st century learning,” (Trilling and Fadel, 50). These basics, along with Bloom’s Taxonomy, particularly the revised version, when combined are going to improve the way that students learn and are assessed, as well as their outcome results. Students will learn the skills to analyze factors that are more complex than ever before, and work to solve the problem that is set in front of them.
Through communication and collaboration students are going to develop deeper relationships with the material they are working on as well as the people they are working with. They are going to work to promote learning as a group, not just an individual. Students are going to use their creativity and knowledge to problem solve as well. Students need to know that creativity and imagination are not only acceptable to tap into but are encouraged.
The chapter ends with this idea, “One of the most effective ways to develop creative skills is through design challenge projects in which students must invent solutions to real world problems,” (Trilling and Fradel, 58). These are the lessons that are going to help students have a wider base for their education future, as well as their career life after.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Super Summary part 1

Super Summary Part 1 pg. 1 to 19
We are moving from the industrial age of machines and engines to the knowledge age of information-driven and global networking. These days the knowledge age exceeds industrial age spending by $5 billion (Trilling, & Fadel, 2009). The knowledge age work will soon make the industrial age work go away due to the impact of the knowledge age tools. The work needed by the industrial age will be transferred to lower-wage countries. Changes that occur will cause the demands of education to increase because educators will have to prepare future workers to deal with challenges of their times. But to have expert knowledge workers, every country needs an education system that produces them; therefore, education becomes the key to economic survival in the 21 st century (Trilling, & Fadel, 2009).
Current studies show that students that are graduating from secondary school do not have the skills needed to perform in this ever changing world. Then in turn companies are spending more money on training their employees. In the past, the skills focused on routine manual and cognitive skills, but have now moved to complex communication and expert thinking. As educators, we need to prepare students with these skills for many jobs that do not exist yet. How do we prepare for something that we do not know yet?
As we prepare our students, what do we expect our school to do for our children? Education plays four universal roles on society. It empowers us to contribute to work and society, exercise and develop our personal talents, fulfill out civic responsibilities, and carry out traditions and values forward (Trilling, & Fadel, 2009). These goals have been constant through the years; the part that changes is how people go about meeting them. In the industrial age, work shifted from farm to city and from fields to factories and now to communication and knowledge.
In the 21st century, to meet the four goals we need to change what we prepare our students for. The first goal of contributing to work and society, we need to be able to learn quickly and master broad skills of essential learning. Team work, communication, problem solving and creativity will lead to culturally rich societies. Fulfilling personal talents can be met by offering the opportunity to use the technology to increase different talents. The civic responsibilities can be met with the access of the internet, which increase issues, facts, conversations and opinions that inform participate in decision making skills. Learning the core principles and blending them with knowledge will be in high-demand for the 21st century.
In summary, we are preparing student for job, skills, technology, and problems that are not yet known. This brings me back to the quote on page three in 21st century skills Learning for life in our times, “ We are currently preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist…using technologies that haven’t yet been invented… in order to solve problems we don’t even know are problems yet.” As educators, what does this mean for us and how are we to be teaching these areas when we don’t even know where it is going or what is going to happen?

Monday, October 25, 2010

I chose this picture because of the simplicity of 21st century skills. The keys are changing color and size are they create a circle. The allusion is the same with 21st century skills. We need our skills to change so a growth can occur.


I chose this picture for my book cover because it metions the character in the middle as the networked teacher and shows all of the different networking that is accomplished. With a 21st Century skills mindset of instruction, students need to work in many ways as their own teacher and use these different networking tools in order to progress through Bloom's taxonomy to be successful students.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Book Cover Image

I chose this picture because it includes the aspects of 21st Century learning. It is bright and attractive and visually communicates the relationships of these aspects with each other.

I choose this image because technology is constantly changing. Ten years ago, most people were not familiar with what a GPS was and now most people have them in their cell phone. This image of a coffee mug on the magna doodle, shows just how much technology has advanced over the years.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

My Book Cover Image

I chose this picture because heading into the 21st Century Skills is like an open Highway. We need to run at it! Like Forrest Gumpsays --I just kept running and running and running! It is going to be a challenge but it will help our chidlren succeed in the future of technology.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Welcome to Literature Circle Seven!

Your Super Summarizer schedule is as follows:

Section One--Due October 28, Stephanie Dyck
Section Two--Due November 4, Rebecca Gerrity
Section Three--Due November 11, Kristy Heathershaw
Section Four--Due November 18, Melissa Kistler (Giggee)
Section Five--Due December 2, Jeanine Sykora
Section Six--Due December 9, Julie Witcraft