In the article, "The New Literacies", Miners and Pascopella first ask, "Students are immersed in 21st century “new literacy” technologies, but are schools preparing them for the future?" (2007). This question should make educators think. When I think about this, the first thing that comes to mind is how my students use my Promethean Board to aid in their learning. What I have found at times, is that students will look as though they understand the content while I have their attention on the board, however, when I give it to them on paper they are unable to perform. Is it wrong for me to teach using my Promethean Board? I do not think so, but I must be able to show them how to transfer what they are learning in a technology situation, to paper. In the education world students and teachers are searching for better ways to understand and/or teach material and skills. Using technology is a great way to do this, but their should definitely be a balance between the two.
The Partnership for 21st Century Skills website discusses what skills students should possess for the 21st century, by providing a framework for teaching these skills, so that they will be prepared for the workplace. The diagram on the website shows the balance between these skills and the importance of each. It is evident that core subjects are still very important in the education world. This model puts a high importance on life and career skills, and information, media, and technology skills are included, which is appealing to me. Right now, this is not happening at our school. I feel like we are unfortunately leaving out life and career skills to focus more on standards and assessments. Although we do need these things, I think we should also be required to teach students skills that our students will use the rest of their lives. How to communicate with others, how to work in a group with people of different backgrounds, etc., and how to use a computer are just a few skills of the many that we should also be teaching. I am excited about what this could mean for my students and all the information it provides for educators.
I am most surprised by the life and career skills being a part of the model for 21st century learning. It was my assumption from my personal experience that those skills were the missing link to making our students successful. It is comforting to know that that is not the case. I agree completely with the framework for the skills to be taught. I have learned from this site that I need to be a more creative teacher. Although the standards are increasing in number and in depth, I think it is important for educators to continue to be creative and make learning fun. Paper and pencil cannot guide my instruction; instead technology and other creative strategies should be my priority in order to get the skills to my students. Whether that is in a group project, or independently using a blog, students should have those opportunities. The support that this model offers could quite possibly change our students and their dispositions dramatically. This is what I need as an educator.
(2004). The partnership for 21st century skills. Retrieved from
Miners, Z., & Pascopella, A. (2007). The new literacies. District Administration, 43(10), 26–34.