21st Century Skills Conversation: Day 1

One day of our Voicethread discussion around the new book, 21st Century Skills: Rethinking How Students Learn, is over and I know that my thinking has been pushed in some major ways.

For starters, a diverse group of university folks and classroom teachers have really impressed me with their perspectives on such a variety of issues.  Luke, a first-year classroom teacher from North Carolina said, “If you want teachers and school leaders to foster a 21st Century learning environment, you have to evaluate them as such.”  Wow!  Just think what the future of education looks like when even our novice teachers can speak so clearly about the need for educator evaluation to lead the way to 21st century skills.

My favorite slide, however, has to be the ongoing discussion about the use of problem-based learning (PBL) as a tool to develop these future-ready skills.  Book contributor John Barell, who is a strong advocate of PBL, makes a convincing case for its use.  He gets strong support from teachers like Stephanie who argue for the extra utility of differentiation and time-saving that PBL offers while maintaining a high level of student motivation and engagement.  My question of whether it’s cost, in terms of money and time, is justified is asked and answered.  My thinking got pushed, and my horizons were expanded.

What has your Personal Learning Network done for you lately?

It’s not too late to get your brain stretched and your views heard at the Voicethread conversation (check it out here).  Things will keep rolling through the end of the day on Saturday.  It’s free and it is guaranteed to be worth your time!

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