Note: Do not do this lesson until you have watched the Watch First video. Lesson Video: Action Guide Video: Once you have watched both videos please complete this step in the Workshop Checklist.
Resources: Partnership for 21st Century Skills (join the mailing list) International Society for Technology in Education iTunes Download Page Ning.com Updates to these videos: none Transcription of these videos: The Lesson Hello everyone and welcome to Step 1: The Big Picture. My name is Brad Flickinger, with SchoolTechnology.Org - and let’s get right into what “The Big Picture” is. What we are talking about today in the big picture of this whole Workshop series is 21st century skills. We are going to talk about what they look like; how do we get teachers to have them; how we get students to have them, how do we assess them? We are going to cover that all over these next 12 Steps that we are going to do.
But what we are really just going to focus on for The Big Picture is just kind of the history of 21st century skills; where they came from, what they look like, and a little bit on how we assess them. So let’s get started. Now, you have got to understand that 21st century skills is a really, really big subject - we could spend hours talking about each skill. But we are going to just really be talking about the tip of the iceberg in this series. So without any further waiting, here are the six skills that we are going to find as 21st century skills. Now, they vary kind of from group to group on what they are calling 21st century skills; but they kind of all come down to these basic items. And so we are going to follow the ones from the International Society for Technology in Education, or ISTE; and here are their six skills: Creativity and Innovation Communication and Collaboration Research and Information Fluency Critical Thinking, Problem Solving and Decision Making Digital Citizenship Technology Operations and Concepts. So that is what we are talking about as far as 21st century skills. But before we get into those individual skills, let’s spend a little bit of time on the history of where do these skills come from and why are they needed? Let’s just shine a little spotlight on some things that have happened - I am going to put two parts of this slide up right now - and that is back in 1998, ISTE formed the National Education Technology Standards for Students; so basically a list of what they felt the tech standards needed to be for students. And they kind of got this list from, you know, the employers in Industry saying, “We just do not feel that the students in America are ready to come to work with their tech skills.” And then in 2002, the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, or P21, they kind of put out a similar list saying, “Hey, you know, we are hearing the same thing!” But that really kind of flew under the radar until 2006. Now let me put up these three pieces of 2006. This is the “perfect storm” if you will, of 21st century skills. First of all, “Time Magazine” comes out with this article called “How to Bring our Schools Out of the 20th Century” - not a very flattering article about education in America. They mostly compared us to being back in the Fifties still; and the only thing we have really updated was we have gone from “Green chalk boards to whiteboards.” So that really was the slam on it; saying, you know, “Everybody else has gone forward with tech skills - except education”. And then also in 2006, Thomas Friedman publishes his bestselling book, “The World is Flat”, basically saying that outsourcing is going to hit us hard and that with the internet and everything you can have employers in India, and in China and all these things - and boy, has a lot of things come true from Thomas Friedman’s book back in 2006! And then also these two guys, Karl Fisch and Scott McLeod, put together this little presentation they showed to their District called “Shift Happens”, talking all about just some of these facts about how technology is really changing the world rapidly; how there will be more English speakers in China than in the US pretty soon, and that information will start to double every 72 hours - just some phenomenal facts. And they just show it to their District. Well, they also post it on YouTube - and this thing takes off virally! Everybody is watching it, everybody is talking about it - and suddenly they are going, “Okay, what are doing about 21st century skills in our schools?” So that is really where this has all come from. But the bottom line is our graduated high school students just lack the skills needed to compete in today’s global economy. That is the bottom line of what all this came down to. So what are we going to do about it? So if I asked a hundred teachers to tell me, “What is the goal of education?” I am sure I would probably get a hundred different answers. And this is really the answer that I have come up with, with talking to educators out there - and I hope you support me in this. And really, we are in the business of making a future of employable, productive and happy people. That is that we do as educators. Now, if we make just happy people but they are not employable, we haven’t really done our job. So we need to make them productive and employable. And all these studies were saying that they don’t have some of these skills. I mean, they might have math, and reading, and all these things; but if they lack these basic tech skills, or 21st century skills, then they are not very employable. And that is what we want to really do. But back in there, there is a key word: we want to make a “future” of them. And so, “Future”; so how do we predict the future? That is the real kicker here. So, here is a little elementary kid, coming to school for his first day of kindergarten. He is going to graduate in 2022. So what is his role going to look like in twelve/thirteen years? I don’t know - I can’t even predict next year, practically, when it comes to technology! So, to really hammer this point home, let’s go back twelve or thirteen years, and say “What was it like in 1997, and what was missing from things we commonly use every day now?” So these are just common items we use every day - look at all these things. These didn’t really exist at all in 1997. DVDs: we are still watching VHS tapes. No Wi-Fi, no broadband internet; we are dialing into the internet. GPS: all the satellites were still locked from the Government so that hadn’t been released yet. IPods, iPhones, hybrids… all those things didn’t exist, that are so commonplace today. This is just to give you an idea how much things are going to change; that we really can’t change this little tail, okay? We can’t go chasing the little technology cutting-edge technology tail because we are just going to go run around and round. So we need to stop teaching technology (I am talking, you know, specific applications) like, “This is how you do it, in this program, right now, this version!” We need to teach skills, so they are adaptable: whether they sit down to a PC, or a MAC; or this version of a word processor or that version of a word processor - they get in it and they know what to do because they are creative and they are innovative, and they can do these things. And that is what it is really about. The other thing is what do they look like? And I am going to show a little video in a just couple of slides here; and want to really show you what 21st century looks like, what these skills look like to these students. And then the last part is, “How do we know if a student even has these?” You see, we have got to… if we are talking 21st century skills then we have also got to talk 21st century assessment. We don’t go and try to give them a test to find out if they have got 21st century skills. There is a different way. And we are going to talk about that in the upcoming presentations here. So I am going to finish our little lesson today with this video from Mabry, Georgia, from a Middle School there. These are Sixth Grade students that put together this video - think about that: Sixth Grade. And here are all the skills, listed around the edge of it - and you just watch when these skills pop up during this video. Here we go. “So, how long have you lived in China” “Well, this is my second time living in China…” We had a video conference with Matt while he was in Beijing, China. He told us about a Foundation that you will learn about in our movie. “Oh, my gosh! Shopping was so exhausting!” “Firshtee, where are your bags?” Well, I asked Firshtee why she didn’t buy anything today. She said that she had seen a short video on the internet about an American man living in China. He was asked by a friend to donate $250 to buy a water buffalo for a poor family. When he asked the local farmer about receiving a water buffalo, the farmer replied that it would be the best gift, worth one year’s salary. A five-year-old water buffalo can work for fifteen years. So they bought the water buffalo and delivered it to the very poor Su family, living in Dachuan. They were helping four generations: the great-grandmother, the grandmother, the father and the daughter. When the family received the gift they were all in great shock. “I have an idea”. In order to help us raise money to purchase a water buffalo for a family in China, please donate $1 for a raffle ticket. Your donation will enable you to participate in a drawing for one of these three Vera Bradley purses. Do you remember the video conference we had with Matt in Beijing? Well, the money that is donated will go to the KIVA Foundation that Matt told us about, to help the poor in China. Through technology, we, as Sixth Graders, can change a purse into something much more meaningful. With YOUR help, we can change the world.” Wow! That is just amazing what these kids put together! And I hope you are like me; you can look at every one of these skills around the edges of this video and you say, “Yes, these kids did it!” And they are proving they know these skills by the artifacts, the digital artifacts that they produced. Okay, we are done with the Lesson part of this. So just go right down to the next video - and that is the Action Items. And we are going to talk about the things that you can do right now, in your school, to start moving towards your teachers and your students having 21st century skills. Thank you. My name is Brad Flickinger, with SchoolTechnology.Org.
The Action Guide
Alright, welcome to The Action Guide for Step 1 here. I am just on the website here on Technology.Org for Step 1. I am just going to scroll down to the area here where we have the important points, but then these “Action Items” - and I want to show you each one of these Action Items, to kind of give you an idea what you need to do.
The very first one says, “Bookmark and browse the websites listed below”; so I am going to go down here in “Resources” and I am going to click on the first link which is “The Partnership for 21st Century Skills”. I am going to click on that and let that load in right here.
Now, P21, as it is normally called, is just a great resource for everything about 21st century learning. And so I would start with of course the front page here; check on any announcements. And then also subscribe to the P21 e-newsletter; so enter your email address down here, so you are getting their publications and their little e-newsletters - that is just great stuff.
Then I would move into the “Overview”. Start with the “Skills framework”; start to read and get an idea of what this whole idea of 21st century skills is. There are just some great things. You know, I have all of these things downloaded to a folder on my computer that I can refer to as I work with teachers and administrators on the different areas of 21st century skills.
So you have really got to kind of get good at the things that are available on this website here. So, that is great. That is a nice little place; spend a few minutes on that, get to look around, and definitely bookmark it in a section that you have all for 21st century skills and doing this integration into your school.
Now, the next one that is on the list here is the International Society for Technology in Education - or we just always call it “ISTE”. So I am going to click on that and let ISTE load up here. And again, you can type in an address here to be a part of their little newsletter if they produce new books, things like that; and you will definitely want to know that, so join that.
But I would recommend that you join ISTE. I think for just a normal membership of an educator is I think $92 a year or something like that - you know, around $100 a year. And it is one of those things that you want to be a part of ISTE; you want to work towards always going to the conference every summer that they put together. This is just where the people “In the know” when it comes to school technology get together and do things. So that is just vital for this.
Now, I think I told you in the “Watch First” video all about how, you know, there are some things I just spend my own money on, as a tech integration person - and this is one of them. I just… I join it. I mean, if you are lucky enough to be able to get reimbursed for it, that’s great; but you definitely want to be a part of this group - so, ISTE.
And, again, the same thing here: you want to get into the “About ISTE”; you want to look at those types of things; spend some time in the “Bookstore”, see what books are available. We are going to go and talk about the books in I think another couple of Steps away from here; we are going to talk about what books are great to have.
So that really is just a wonderful website, to understand 21st century skills. And remember, these people put out the standards that I like to follow when I meet with teachers and of course have students learn these things. And they are down here; they are called “The NETS” - let me just click on that for you - and they are called the National Education Technology Standards. And there are standards for administrators, there are standards for teachers, there are standards for students. And they are all available right here for you to take a look at. So there they all are; so get to know that one - another great website to bookmark.
Let me just close that and get back to our “Resource” list. Okay, so those are the two websites we need to take a look at.
The next thing on the Action Item list is “Download and install iTunes” - I am going to go ahead and click on this right now. Now, iTunes is basically a music library and player, and it works on both PCs and Macs; so it works cross-platform.
Anyway, this will take you to a download page - it will probably automatically detect whether you are on a PC or a MAC - and you just want to download the latest version, if you don’t already have it. If you already have it, that’s great; you might want to make sure that it is updated so that you have the latest version of it there. But this is what is going to manage all of the stuff that we are going to work with in the next couple of weeks. So we want to bring in podcasts; we want to listen to things; we want to have resources that are available to us - and so we need to have iTunes on your computer.
So it is just right here in this corner here; and you go ahead and just enter your email address in and click “Download now” and it will go through all the steps of downloading and installing on your computer. So that is the install for iTunes.
And then the last thing on the Action Item - now there might be more things here, because you have got to remember, I produce these videos and then things might come up; so if you see other things on this list go ahead and do them - but the last one I have on here is “Join NING.com”.
Now, I am already in, so it already signed me into NING; but let me just sign out and let me show you what it will basically look like when you come into here. So, let me just scroll over this way. So it will say “Go ahead and create your own NING Network”; but you have got to come over here to this side where you have got to say “Join now”; and you want to just fill in the little form on there. It’s free - and you want to join NING because, again, in the next couple of Steps what we are going to do, we are going to get into NING and start doing things with other people.
So, NING is like a social network for professionals. So if you can think of MySpace or Facebook, that type of things; it is for professionals to use that all have similar interests. So we can have videos; we can have documents on there; photos on there, lectures on there - all that kind of stuff. And so we are going to get into Ning in the next couple of steps. So that is what you need to do. So go ahead and join the NING right in there.
And I think you get those things done, I think that is it for this first Step, Step 1. Once again, I am Brad Flickinger with SchoolTechnology.Org. And I will see you in Step 2 - but don’t cheat, okay? You have got to get these steps done; don’t go on to Step 2 without them because you won’t be able to get very far, because we build upon things from Step to Step to Step.
Alright, thanks a lot you guys. Have a good day.