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21st Century Learning
21st Century Learning
One of the greatest challenges for today’s educators is determining how to best prepare students to succeed as part of the globally and digitally interconnected world.
Schools are no longer charged with simply preparing citizens to perform rote tasks. In addition to mastering traditional subjects, students must learn essential skills that are transferable across any discipline — the ability to work well with others, communicate effectively both written and orally, think outside the box and create a better way of doing things. And in many instances to exercise these skills through the use of technology.
The Bainbridge Island School District generally follows the educational framework known as “21st Century Learning,” developed by P21 (formerly Partnership for 21st Century Learning), a national nonprofit which brings together education, business, community and government leaders with the goal that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills they need to to thrive in a world where change is constant and learning never stops. The framework is based on the essential skills, knowledge and dispositions that children need to succeed in their communities and workplaces, as well as the necessary support systems needed to create learning environments that support that kind of learning.
Simply put, students need to learn the 4 Cs: Collaboration, Communication, Critical Thinking and Creativity. Add in Media Literacy and Global Citizenship and just imagine what tools teachers need in place to do be able to do this.
How Tech in Bainbridge Island Classrooms Supports the 4 Cs
Here are just a few examples of the technology tools and methods the Bainbridge Island School District uses to equip its students with 21st century skills.
- Collaboration: The G-Suite for Education is sweet, and older kids have a student account, @frogrock.org, that gives them access to teamwork like you’ve never seen before, as well as a way to interact with teachers in a new kind of Classroom.
- Communication: Our creative teachers have thought of hundreds of ways to have students read, write and speak while working with content. Posting original media online for other students to consume increases engagement and rigor because it’s no longer just an assignment — it’s real.
- Critical Thinking: There are six steps: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and creating. The number of Google Apps for Education and Chrome extensions available to students at any step is simply mind-boggling.
- Creativity: When teachers let students choose the content, concepts and/or process to complete an assignment, they are asking students to create something original and hence work through all the steps to critical thinking. And the best part is they learn better — because it’s meaningful.