Showing posts with label 21st century teaching skills. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 21st century teaching skills. Show all posts

The 28 Features of A Leading Learner

July 22, 2014
Here is an interesting visual I recently stumbled upon on Teachthought. This visual features the 4 characteristics of a learning leader as surmised by Heutagogy of Community Practice. While these characteristics are meant to decry a professional learner, they are also the same ethos that underly the concept of life-long learning in general. Things like  project management skills, ability to research and learn, ability to self-regulate,optimism, and empathy are all elemental components of the psychological and intellectual makeup of a lifelong learner.

Here is the full list of leading learner characteristics.

1. Ability to deal with ambiguity
  • Low need for control
  • Openness to Experience (one of the Big 5 personality traits)
  • Moderate perfectionism
  • High Stability (low anxiety)
  • Project management skills
  • Ability to use social media
  • Optimism
2. The capacity to foster engagement
  • An understanding of how to motivate others
  • Ability to foster a shared purpose and vision
  • An understanding of human needs
  • Interpersonal effectiveness
  • Ability to self-regulate
  • Empathy
3. The capacity to learn
  • Ability to research and learn
  • Being thoroughly on top of one’s subject area
  • Wide and accessible networks
  • Able to share with others
  • Knowledge management skills
  • The ability to foster collaborative learning
4. The ability to use open systems thinking
  • The capacity to scan the external environment
  • Able to foster participative democracy/collaboration decision-making and process
  • Able to actively diffuse power
  • Capacity to work in a team
  • Ongoing internal and external analysis of effectiveness (continuous improvement)

A Comprehensive Checklist of The 21st Century Learning and Work Skills

July 16, 2014
While searching for some resources on a paper and writing on  the 21st century learning skills I came across this skills checklist created by the university of UToledo. This checklist is meant to help students build powerful resumes outlining all the skills they master. I spent some time going through the components of this sheet and found it really sharing with you here.  You can use this sheet with your students as an explanatory guide of some of the important skills ( I said some because some other important skills particularly those related to digital citizenship and digital literacy are missing) they need to work.

Below is a round-up of the 9 most important skills which I selected from the entire list. You can access this list from this link.

1- Research skills

  • Know how to find and collect relevant background information
  • Be able to analyze data, summarize findings and write a report
2- Critical Thinking skills
  • Be able to review different points of view or ideas and make objective judgments
  • Investigate all the possible solutions to a problem, weighing the pros and cons
3- Organizational skills
  • Be able to organize information, people or thins in a systematic way
  • Be able to establish priorities and meet deadlines
4- Problem-solving skills
  • Be able to clarify the nature of a problem
  • Be able to evaluate alternatives, propose viable solutions and determine the outcome of the various options
5- Creative thinking skills
  • Be able to generate new ideas, invent new things, create new images or designs
  • Find new solutions to problems
  • Be able to use wit and humour effectively
6- Analytical/ logical thinking skills
  • Be able to draw specific conclusions from a set of general observations of from a set of specific facts
  • Be able to synthesize information and ideas
7- Public speaking skills
  • Be able to make formal presentations
  • Present ideas, positions and problems in an interesting way
8- Oral communication skills
  • Be able to present information and ideas clearly and concisely with content and style appropriate for the audience
  • Be able to present opinions and ideas in an open, objective way.
9- Adaptability skills
  • Develop the capacity to adapt to new situations and settings
  • Be able to tolerate change well
  • Have flexibility to adapt to the needs of the moment

The 8 Must Have Skills for The 21st Century Students

June 23, 2014
Here is a wonderful little visual I came across through Edudemic which outlines the 8 skills students need in order to live up to the expectations of the future job market. These skills which are highlighted in the recent report "The Learning Curve"  by Pearson are a big departure from the conventional literacy skills : Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic.That being said, the report also underscored the fact that for kids (in developing countries) to get a grasp of the 21st century skills, they need to first master the basic literacy skills.

Developing countries must teach basic skills more effectively before they start to consider the wider skills agenda. There is little point in investing in pedagogies and technologies to foster 21st century skills, when the basics of numeracy and literacy aren't in place.
Here is the 8 needed skills for the future:
  • Leadership
  • Digital Literacy
  • Communication
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Global Citizenship
  • Problem Solving
  • Team-Working

The 9 Skills Students Must Master to Succeed

April 17, 2014
Of all the things I have read about the 21st century skills required for students success in today's info rich society, the visual below from edutopia captures the essence of these skills and touches on critical areas students need to work on to meet these skills.These skills are grouped in three main categories: learning,  creating and  collaborating:


  • Access, evaluate and use different forms of information
  • Exercise critical thinking
  • Exhibit fluency with tech tools


  • Use various forms of media when presenting ideas
  • Display originality
  • Employ problem solving skills


  • Demonstrate cross-cultural awareness
  • Communicate complex ideas effectively
  • Work successfully as a team

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25 Important Skills for 21st Century Students

Below is a graphic I have created a few months ago in which I featured a host of important skills to grope for in today's education. I have divided these skills into three major areas : digital skills. thinking skills, and learning skills. Of course all of these skills are interrelated with each other and are applicable in more than one area. for instance , we can use the digital skill of online searching to cultivate a learning skill which is finding information...etc

I invite you to have a look and share with us what you think of it. You can also use it the way you it. Enjoy

team work

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The 7 Killer Skills Every 21st Century Student should Have

Back again to the topic of the skills the 21st century learners should have but this time I ll be looking at them from the eyes of a very popular educator and author named Tony Wagner. In this wonderful  29 minutes talk, Tony, based on his 30 years of experience in teacher education, recommends what he called 7 survival skills every student should have in the 21st century.

The talk you will watch below is divided into two sections:

1- Achievement Gap
In this first section Tony talks about the achievement gap. This concept is well popularized in his book " The Global Achievement Gap: Why Even Our Best Schools Don't Teach the New Survival Skills Our Children Need--and What We Can Do About It ".  In The Global Achievement Gap, education expert Tony Wagner situates our school problems in the larger context of the demands of the global knowledge economy. With insights gained from visits to classrooms in leading suburban schools, he analyzes performance by considering the skills needed to get a good job and become a productive citizen. Highlighting discussions with young people and the adults who work with them, Wagner also explains the ways in which today’s generation is differently motivated to excel.
A manifesto for the twenty-first century, The Global Achievement Gap is a must-read for anyone interested in seeing our young people achieve their full potential.

2- Skills Students must Have
The second section features  7 of the 7 skills Tony highlights as being most crucial for students to thrive in a knowledge economy. Here is a brief roundup of these skills:
  • Critical thinking and problem-solving
  • Collaboration across networks and leading by influence
  • Agility and adaptability
  • Initiative and entrepreneurialism
  • Effective oral and written communication
  • Accessing and analyzing information
  • Curiosity and imagination
I invite you to watch the video to learn more about these skills. There is also a presentation of this talk which you will find under the video, check it out .

The 8 Digital Skills Students Need for The Future

In a recent research article published by PEW Internet under the title " The Impact of Digital Tools on Student Writing and How Writing is Taught in Schools ", 91% of teachers surveyed report that " judging the quality of information " as the top of the digital skills students need for the future. Similarly, another 91 report that "writing effectively" as being essential skill for students while 54 % of teachers think that working with audio, video or graphic content as being important but not essential.

Reading these stats together with other sections in this research  made me think that the teachers surveyed in this study  ( so as not to fall in the blander of generalization ) put digital citizenship on top of the continuum of digital skills ; in other words, knowing how to use web tools comes secondary to knowing the reasons for which to use them, or at least that is how I interpret it. Have a look at the graph below and try to read the entire report to learn more about this study.

Awesome Graphic Featuring 12 Learning Skills for 21st Century Learners

I just came across this awesome graphic from User Generated Education and want to share it with you as well. I have been posting several educational graphics on the 21st century skills for students and teachers  here in Educational Technology and Mobile Learning but this the one below is a bit different. The attributes this graphic features are not digitally focused and apart from the one involving collaboration across different networks, all the other skills relate the students social, emotional, and personal construct.
I am not sure to what extent you would agree with this classification of learning skills but personally I find them really interesting, yes they don't emphasize the digital component but learning is not all about digital skills. We are teaching human beings and not machines after all.

Have a look at this graphic and share with us your feedback. Enjoy

Academic Excellence in 140 Characters

I have been looking for such a study for a long time. Today as I was scouring the web looking for resources for a paper I am working on I came across this awesome video hidden deep inside the million videos in YouTube. The video features a study conducted by some university professors on the potential use of social networking sites in higher education. It shows  how one of the instructors used Twitter with his undergraduate students to consolidate what they learned in class and helped them when they were out of class. Besides providing some of the ways teachers can use social media to foster their students learning, the results of the study are also amazing. A higher percentage of undergrad students who participated in this Twitter experience were reported to have benefited from Twitter in their learning.
I am sharing with you this video below and looking forward to your feedback. Enjoy

8 Characteristics of The 21st Century Teacher

Below are SOME of the characteristics of the 21st century teacher and educator you need to keep in mind. I know some of you do not agree with describing and categorizing  teachers as being 20th or 21st century but I personally do believe in this classification .Any teacher who is using traditional methods in teaching is a 21th century teacher even though he or she is living in the 21st century. I know I will get some very mad responses but I am used to them I do love criticism when it is constructive.
Check out the concept map Andrew created featuring 8 characteristics of the 21st century educator.

Click on the image to enlarge it.

The 27 Characteristics of A 21st Century Teacher

"21st Century Educator" is probably the most popular buzzword in today's education. There is a growing and heated debate whether or not to label educators as 21st century and each camp has its own concept and arguments, however, for me personally I see teaching in 21st century as having undergone a paradigmatic shift. This is basically due to the emerging of the " social web" and the huge embrace of technology and particularly the mobile gadgetry  in our classrooms. It would be unfair to ignore these huge transformations and their impact on education. Therefore, and as a result of these changes teachers now are required to have digital skills that were not called for before. It also becomes imperative for teachers to adapt their teaching practices to the developing learning needs of their students  if ever this teaching to be effective. Our students are digital natives and live in a digitally focused world and they need to see part of their life inside the class. So, whatever we want to call ourselves 21st century educators or not , we are definitely not the same teachers of last century and if you think you still did not change than you need to look for another job in another sector.

Having said that,  I am sharing with you  today an infographic on the 27 ways to be 21st century teacher. Check it out below and let us know what you think of it and of my previous discussion ?

21st cdentury educator courtesy of :

5 Strategies to Develop Problem Solving Skills for your Students

Problem solving is one of the basic 21st century skill every student should be able to develop. It has been clearly outlined in the Common Core standards and is a necessary component of any curriculum objectives kit. By implication, problem solving inherently involves decision-making which is another important skill  not only for academic achievement  but for success in life in general.

Benefits of problem solving for kids
Here are some of the advatanges of teaching kids how to problem solve

  • Using effective problem solving techniques will help kids avoide conflicts in a school setting and in their day to day lives
  • It can also strengthen kid's beginning empathy skills
  • It can help kids learn more positive attributions about other persons' intentions
  • Problem solving is essential for school readiness and academic success.

Here are some basic steps to problem solving from Michigan State University :
  • Identify the problem.
  • List the possible solutions or courses of action.
  • Weigh the possible solutions.
  • Choose a solution to try.
  • Put the solution into practice.
  • Evaluate the solution.
Now let me share with you this awesome graphic  featuring 5 methods for developing problem solving skills. Enjoy

problem solving methods Courtesy of Eyeoneducation

The 22 Digital Skills Every 21st Century Teacher Must Have

One of the most popular articles I have written in this blog was about the 33 Digital Skills Every 21st Teacher should Have. This post has been used in several digital literacy courses in some universities in the States and also here in Canada, I also got it published in a couple of printed journals . Now that one year has elapsed since its first seeing the light I decided to revisit it again but this time adding more updates and organizing its content in a better and easy navigable way.

The skills I have mentioned here are essential to every teacher ( and student ) using technology in class, at home , or for professional development purposes. It also contains the best web tools that you can use to better hone in the targeted skill under which they are featured .These web tools can also empower you with the necessary know-how to effectively leverage the power of technology in education.

Please this is a work I have spent a lot of time and efforts on and I am so glad to share it with you but I also deserve to have due credit whenever you  use it somewhere else. Enjoy

Create and Edit Audio
 Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :

Use Social bookmarking to share resources with and between learners 
Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :

Use blogs and wikis to create online platforms for students
 Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :

Use digital images in classroom 
Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :

Use video content to engage students
 Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :

 Use infographics to visually stimulate students
Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :

Use Social networking sites to connect with colleagues and grow professionally
 Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :

Create and deliver asynchronous presentations and training sessions
 Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :

Compile a digital e-portfolio for their own development
 Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :

be able to detect plagiarized works in students assignments
 Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :

Create screen capture videos and tutorials
 Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :

Use and provide students with task management tools to organize their work and plan their learning
 Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :

Use polling software to create a real-time survey in class
Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :

Understand issues related to copyright and fair use of online materials
Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :

 Use digital assessment tools to create quizzes
 Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :

Use digital tools for time management purposes
 Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :

Use note taking tools to share interesting content with your students
 Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :

Annotate web pages and highlight parts of text to share with your class
 Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :

Use of online sticky notes to capture interesting ideas
 Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :

Use file sharing tools to share docs and files with students online 
Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :

Create Engaging mind maps
 Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :

               Leverage the power of Digital Story telling in your classroom
                                    Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :

Check out if You Correctly Integrate Technology Using This Awesome Rubric

One of the questions you might be asking yourself as a teacher using technology in his/her classroom is whether you are using it the right way or not. First , questions such as these are healthy signs of your ongoing learning and the more you question  your learning and teaching practices  the more improved your overall teaching becomes. This is an important part of our lifelong learning process , and as I said before in one of my previous posts, teachers are or should be on a constant hunt for new knowledge. We are not seeking perfection because nothing is perfect in this world but we do want to have a sound intellectual mind .

Now that you have started thinking critically about the technology you use in your classroom, you will need s answers to some questions you have in your mind ( like the one above ). Well Technology Integration Matrix has all the answers you might need .

So what is Technology Integration Matrix ?

According to the Arizona K-12 Center at Northern Arizona University  :

The Technology Integration Matrix (TIM) illustrates how teachers can use technology
The Technology Integration Matrix (TIM) illustrates how teachers can use technology to enhance learning for K-12 students. The TIM incorporates five interdependent  characteristics of meaningful learning environments: active, constructive, goal directed  (i.e.reflective), authentic, and collaborative (Jonassen, Howland, Moore, & Marra,  2003). The TIM associates five levels of technology integration (i.e., entry, adoption,  adaptation, infusion, and transformation) with each of the five characteristics of  meaningful learning environments. Together, the five levels of technology integration and  the five characteristics of meaningful learning environments create a matrix of 25 cells.

Click Here to download the Technology Integration Matrix ( TIM )

5 Tips Every Connected Student Must Know about

Students are learning differently than we used to do. They are probably lucky to be born in such a highly focused digital age where information and knowledge belong to everyone with an internet connection. This democratised form of knowledge sharing has created a new type of students called the connected learner.

The connected learner is a concept grounded in the theory of connectivism which presumes that Learning takes place as a part of a social network of many diverse connections and ties. This very network is made possible thanks to the various tools of communication technology. Tools themselves are not as important as the connections made possible by them. Social media empowers students to make new connections and learn from what others share.

As a teacher you might be feeling the pressing need to get your students engaged in such a connected and socially-based digital learning but this can not be achieved without the right and proper tools. You might probably be thinking now about what these tools are and how you can get access to them; well think no more, the list below has everything you will need to help your connected students learn in a digital way.

 Teachers need to make sure  that their students know how to  :

1- Effectively search the web

Searching content on the web is an art that students should master. It can save them so much of their precious time and get them focused on their learning. Check out these tools to learn how you can teach them  to do that .

2- Evaluate content on the web

Students need to know how to sift through content online and recognize the good from the junk. To do this they need to be equipped with the necessary know-how which This Article can provide them with .

3- Learn about digital citizenship

This is another important thing connected students need to learn about. They need to be taught how to protect themselves from online predators and stay safe while browsing the web. Give them this guide to help them learn more about digital citizenship. Youalso check these  online security tips to  share with your students.

4- Learn about social networking

We all know that most of our students have accounts  at least at  one of the popular social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, but do they use them for learning purposes ? Do they know how to leverage these platforms in their learning process ? Well , it is your job as a teacher to teach them how to do that. Check out these guides for help .

Teachers Guide on The Use of Pinterest in Education

You can also access several other guides in This Page

5- Have the proper learning web tools

Now that students know how to search the web, evaluate the content they find and socially share it with each others, they need to move to the production phase. They need some simple and easy tools to be able to create videos, record audio, draw, podcast and many more. For this we have a list of probably all of the tools students and teachers might need : Check out this Article to learn more.

We finally invite you to watch this inspiring video from Windy Drexler to see what connected students can really do.

The 21st Century Learning and Teaching Skills You should not Miss

Digital media and internet are transforming the way our kids socialize and play; they are even changing the way they learn and participate civically. Many believe that this shift could possibly transform teaching and learning broadening, thus, the focus of literacy to include the digital element.

Technology is not only revolutionizing education but it is also reconceptualizing the way this education is delivered. Here is  how this reconceptualization process is taking place :

Learning environments in the 20th century :

Learning in the 20th century was basically taking place in a poor environment whose major players were : school, teachers, and parents. The focus was on learning content and students were supposed to passively  consume the information using techniques such as rote memorization and mechanical drilling. Teachers were considered as the only authoritative source of knowledge. They were themselves confined by the  strictures of a rigid curriculum; a curriculum that only celebrated facts and content but no skills.


Learning  in the 21st  century :

Now that technology has creeped into our life a new vision of  learning emerged. This vision is based on the following core principles :

  1. The first principle is the shift from education to learning
  2. The second one is the shift from consumption of learning to participation and production
  3. The third one is the shift from thinking about institutions to thinking about new works.

In this new digital age students learn in rich and stimulating environments. Their role has shifted from being passive consumers to active producers of information. The teacher for them is but an initiator, a mediator, a collaborator, a coach, and a mentor. This new transformation of roles has brought about a change of  the educational system at play. We moved from class system to community system where knowledge is socially constructed. Students learning has become  diversified drawing on several media including :

  1. Online communities
  2. Social networks
  3. Peer learning
  4. Making global connections
  5. smart and mobile devices
  6. networking

Using technology, students become able to free learning from the confinements of time and geography. They can now learn whatever, whenever, and wherever. This type of learning has created a new set of literacies pushing educators, practitioners, and curriculum designers to redefine their list of priorities. What students want now is a knowledge that will empower them with the tools to :

  •  Find information
  • validate this information
  • Synthesize it
  • Leverage information
  • Communicate information
  • Collaborate with it
  • Problem solve it
  • Reflect about it 
  • Evaluate it
  • Publish it

These skills are at the core of the pedagogy  of the 21st century literacy. But to help our students achieve them we need to have an equally challenging curriculum , one that calls on their : 
  • Aesthetic abilities
  • Synthesis abilities
  • Abilities to Understand the context
  • Abilities to work in teams and (a) synchronously
  • Multidisciplinary,multilingual, and multicultural abilities
  • Creative abilities
  • Lateral, divergent,  convergent, and critical thinking abilities

We will also need to make sure our students cultivate the following tech skills :

  • Paraphrasing
  • Attributing
  • Subscribing
  • Editing
  • Twittering
  • Experimenting
  • Reflecting
  • Podcasting
  • Animating
  • Recording
  • Tagging
  • Commenting
  • Searching
  • Posting
  • Locating
  • Linking
  • Networking
  • Bookmarking
  • Mashing
  • Uploading

Now that we know the tools and skills we need for the 21st century teaching and learning we are left with some ethical considerations to address before we can comfortably claim that our toolkit is complete. I am talking here about issues of responsibility, reliability and integrity. These are just as important as the tech skills we have talked about. We , as educators, need to teach our students about the real meaning of professionalism. We have to educate them on topics such as :

  • Copyright
  • Pirating
  • Plagiarism
  • Confidentiality
  • Cyber Crimes
  • Cyberbullying
  • Crowdsourcing
  • Slander

These and some other issues constitute the digital citizenship kit you need to add to your tool kit to finally say you are a 21st century teacher/learner.