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


  1. You make an excellent point about incorporating technology into student assessments. I think that most teachers look for opportunites to utilize technology for instruction but forget about the potential for incorporating it into the learning process.

    Thanks for your posting.

  2. Kathryn,
    I agree that teachers should be collaborating with businesses so they can be sure to teach their students the skills businesses are looking for. My son was in a college program that did just this. It was a new program to the school (for software engineering) but they worked closely with several businesses so that they insured the students were learning what future employers were looking for. The whole program focused on collaborating and team projects even in most of the core courses and their whole senior year was an internship. It was an excellent program and it led to my son having a job offer before he even graduated. If high school teachers talked to businesses to see what job skills they need to start building on, then students getting jobs right out of high school or even students going on to college are already going to have a step in the right direction. Great post!

  3. I like your opinion about collaboration on curriculum with outside sources. Incorporating input on which crucial abilities 21st century graduates need to have from business owners, corporations, and governments is essential in creating meaningful training. Without keeping this pulse on their needs we are aiming at an antiquated view of “what businesses want.” I feel out of touch with what most crucial skills I needed to pass on, but wonder what is the best way to receive this knowledge? This organization seems to have a curriculum for sell, but I wonder how aligned it is with local realities? Most of my students will stay local and I don’t feel like national norms reflect the skill sets my students will need. Ideally districts would capture some local businesses/corporation needs and align them with curriculum. This way each teacher wouldn’t have to create these lessons, but they would still have authenticity for the students because they incorporate aspects of the jobs their families hold.

    Nick Nohner

  4. I agree with you that educators need to collaborate with local businesses to make students aware of the importance of an education. In the past they needed to understand the textbook but more and more they need to understand and be able to use current technology skills effectively if they are to succeed. Our state curriculum and assessments need to be adapted to accommodate these new skills. As aware educators, I feel it is up to us to integrate these new technologies whether the state requires it or not. I know my state has not joined this partnership and we currently have limited technology requirements at the elementary level. I plan to use the information I have gained from my studies along with the P21 website to inform my administration of the changes I plan to make in my instruction. Good luck in your new position. I know our media specialist, previously labeled librarian, has been helpful in helping me integrate more technology into my lessons.