The book, 21st Century Skills was an enlightening book that really focused upon the future of education. Surprisingly the focus was not upon specific pieces of technology, rather the book focused upon the need for education to transform itself in ways that enrich the way we teach students and present information. Of all of the information presented within this book the part I found to be the most important was collaboration. Collaboration needs to happen within classrooms, schools, districts, cities, counties, states, countries, continents, and ultimately the entire world. “None of us is as strong as all of us. “
My hope is to utilize more collaborative teaching methods within my computer class. In many ways I am already fostering this type of learning through ePals. My hope is that teaching students to network and communicate using technology collaboration will naturally happen.
In addition to collaboration, another crucial skill that our students must obtain is problem solving. This skill does not require a machine of any sort. Students need to be able to reason through issues and problems in ways that foster global thinking in ways that develop and advance humanity in general.
Lastly, the book places an emphasis upon balance. Previously education has been teacher-centered. Teachers are now being asked to abandon the idea of teaching their content and learn about their students learning and skills. As educators we have to abandon the idea of being the expert and shift more towards focusing upon the learner. A quote I am reminded of is, “The person doing the talking is the person doing the learning.” This spills over into creating students who are lifelong learners that develop a purpose for their own learning. This is strongly developed within the walls of a classroom that is allowing for a collaborative, project based classroom. The sooner the global community embraces this type of a learning format the better off all students will be.