Wednesday, July 20, 2011

21st Century Skills

The partnership for 21st Century Skills is an organization that advocates for the integration of information and communication technologies in the classroom.  I agree with most of the information presented in this website.  As a technology liaison for my school, I work to find ways for teachers to include 21st century skills into the core curriculum.  The partnership believes that core content should be taught using these skills. 

It was helpful to see the way that businesses incorporate these skills into jobs.  I had not realized how much jobs have changed in the past years.  Previous jobs required the worker to be skilled at one machine or task.  Now, workers need to be proficient at multi-tasking and using multiple tools.  Teachers should be collaborating with local businesses to identify the skills that need to be taught in the classroom. 

I found that this website stresses incorporating 21st century skills into standardized testing.  I feel that standardized tests do not always represent what is taught in the classroom.  There are multiple ways for students to demonstrate an understanding of the information.  The website also stresses that the only things that are taught in a classroom is what is on a standardized test.  Good teachers, do not just teach what is on the test.  They go beyond that to include global experiences for their students. 

As a contemporary educator, I need to use 21st century tools in my classroom and on their assessments.  Students should have daily access to technology including during assessments.  I am working towards a masters degree in technology because I believe that it is important for my students to have these skills.  As I move to the library this year, I will be using technology to teach my students how to read and think critically.


Partnership for 21st Century Skills. (n.d.). A report and mile guide for 21st century skills. Washington DC: Author. Retrieved from

Trilling, B. (n.d.). The Partnership for 21st Century Skills - Home. The Partnership for 21st Century Skills - Home. Retrieved July 20, 2011, from

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Blogs in the Classroom

I hope to use blogs in my classroom as a place for students to showcase their writing and respond to each other.  This year, I will be teaching fifth grade writing and library.  I would like the students to post their work and have other students respond to help build it and make it better.  Many times, students do not know how to peer-edit because they don't know what questions to ask.  

I do not think that the students will be sharing their work with the larger community.  I worry that inviting the community in will not keep them safe on the internet.  By keeping it as just their classmates, they will be able to benefit from collaborative writing without worrying about outside safety.  My students are too young to know how to appropriately communicate with people outside of the building.  Their blogging experience would be a stepping stone to allow them to communicate with others on future assignments.

Blogging allows the students to learn how to use the internet for more than just chatting and texting.  Many fifth graders have learned how to use it for their personal use.  In older grades and in their careers, they will need to know how to respond to someone professionally.  The students will need to learn proper etiquette for their writing.  

Posting their writing assignments on a blog also allows students to feel that their work is important.  They often have to write persuasive essays.  A blog would allow others to question their arguments and have a continuing discussion to improve their ideas.  It will show a record of their writing from one assignment to the next.  Students will be able to see their progress over the course of a school-year.