Wednesday, January 25, 2012

21st Century Skills: Training required not just for students

As I was looking through The Partnership for 21st Century Skills website, I found a plethora of knowledge. Not only has this organization before working to prepare students for the workforce in the 21st century, they have also developed a number of tools to prepare teachers. We are working in the 21st century and, more importantly, we are the ones preparing students for technologies and jobs that do not exist yet. I found many useful tools under the resource tab.

In the resources, the first things to stand out were the skills maps. They have taken the skills today's students need and applied them directly to the the subjects teachers are already teaching. They broke down each skill to the outcomes the students should be able to do and an example what the outcome could look like. They also define the skills, so you as the teacher know what you are should be expecting from your students. Another thing that was fascinating under the resources for educators tab was the "The Professional Development Implementation Guide." This shows how to educate your teachers, therefore they will be able to effectively communicate the skills to the student. The very first two suggestions in this list are to have professional development on new technologies and add technology training into teacher preparation and certification courses. The teachers have to understand technology or they will not use it. Many professional development days at my school and district are based on data. Data is incredibility important in today's academic climate of high stakes testing, but there are other areas that a day of learning would very much benefit the teachers and, as a result, the students in their classes. In the near future, I hope to see more education of teachers on new technologies, so they can relay the information to their students properly.


  1. I understand your frustration with the amount of professional development time that is dedicated to data. One of my principal's mottos is "We need to understand where we are coming from before we can see where we are going". While I see the value in evaluating data and making a proactive plan to deal with students who are struggling, I also see how little of our professional development is dedicated to teaching teachers how to infuse technology and the understanding of 21st Century skills into their everyday lessons. I also found the Professionall Development Inplementation guide to be very helpful and full of ideas and I just have to get my school district to see the importance of teacher training in these areas.

  2. I do agree, data does have its place in education and when used properly can be incredibly beneficial to the teacher for planning purposes and the students for learning purposes. It would be nice to see a professional development on 21st century skills. By the time students in elementary school hit the job market, the need to come ready with these skills is going to be very important. With the rapid change in the job market, businesses are not going to be able to keep up the training programs they have because of quick turnover and new developments in technology.