Netbooks and 21st Century Skills

Let's look at each skill and how netbooks can help students obtain these important skills. As we have mentioned before on this blog, the best way to develop these skills in students is to embed them into your instruction. In one of our netbook test classroom, we challenged teachers to embed 21st Century Skills into a book report assignment. Here is what they came up with for each of the skill areas: Creativity and Innovation

Students were asked to create a book report video, where they acted out the favorite part of the book they had just read. They worked in teams of two and took turns in front of and behind the camera. A handwritten rough draft was then typed in to Google Docs as a final script, which was approved by the teacher before they picked up a video camera.

Communication and Collaboration

Students worked with other teams in the class to ensure that everyone did not report on the same part of the book. The final videos were uploaded to the school server so that other students using the library could have access the video book reports.

Research and Information Fluency

Students had to research and develop an outline to guide the video book report. Each outline had to cover background information on the author and information about any other books the author had written.

Critical Thinking, Problem Solving and Decision Making

Questions were added to the video book report project to encourage students to think deeper about the book they reported on. Questions such as, "If you were the author, how would you have written this story differently?" or "What would have happened to the main character if he or she would have chosen a different path to follow?"

Digital Citizenship

Students made sure that they used proper citation for all quotes and images in their report. They also obtained a signed parent or guardian release form so that they could post their videos on the Internet. As part of the project, students filled out an Internet Risk Report, which helps students establish safe Internet practices.

Technology Operations and Concepts

Student had to learn about editing and shooting video, as well as, script writing to complete the project. They simply followed the step-by-step tutorials on to learn these new skills. By following an online lessons, each team could work at their own pace. This also proved helpful when it came to sharing resources like the video camera since each team needed to use it at different times rather than at the same time.

You can see from the above examples just how important netbooks have become to the world school technology.