This tool provides a set of resources to help the Future Classroom Facilitator introduce colleagues (e.g. members of the Core Group formed in Toolset 1) to the concept of 21st Century Skills. There are a number of videos that describe what they are and why they are important. It also introduces the TeamUp tool, designed to support learner collaboration.
1 – 21st Century Skills
Roger Blamire, Senior Advisor to European Schoolnet, provides you with an introduction to what is commonly referred to as 21st Century Skills.
One way to summarise 21st Century Skills is given below:
Thinking skills including:
- Creativity and innovation – Creating new and worthwhile ideas individually and/or collaboratively and evaluating these ideas in order to improve and develop into useful products/creations.
- Critical thinking, problem-solving, decision-making – Using arguments, reasoning and analysis, and appreciating different viewpoints to make judgements and conclusions, particularly involving complex systems.
- Learning to learn, meta-cognition – Effective self-management of learning (time management, autonomy, discipline, perseverance, concentration) and reflect critically and communicating on the personal learning.
Ways of working and tools for working including:
- Communication – Confidently and clearly, in various forms and a variety of situations. Understanding others and considering different perspectives to formulate arguments. Using writing processes (from drafting to proofreading), speaking in a convincing manner and using communication aids (such as notes, maps, etc.).
- Collaboration – Speaking and listening with consideration and respect for others and working in diverse teams making use of differences to create new ideas. Collaboratively planning and organising, influence, selflessness, integrity and an ability to lead and follow others.
- Information literacy – Accessing, evaluating and using information across a range of digital sources and formats. Using information and communication aids (presentations, graphs, charts, maps, etc.) to present complex information.
- ICT literacy – Accessing ICT and critically evaluating and using a range of tools competently in communication, collaboration, creativity, problem solving and critical thinking. Applying an understanding of the ethical/legal issues in using ICT.
Life and social skills including:
- Citizenship – Participation in community and political activities, helping to solve problems affecting the local or the wider community and positively interacting with public institutions.
- Life and career – Flexibly taking on varied roles and responsibilities and adapting to change. Using advice guidance and self-reflection to set and manage personal and professional goals and relationships, dealing with obstacles and priorities.
- Initiative and entrepreneurship – Including creativity, innovation and risk-taking, as well as the ability to plan and manage projects in order to achieve objectives.
- Personal and social responsibility – Including cultural awareness and competence.
There are a number of frameworks describing 21st Century Skills. The ones provided here are derived from a range of sources, notably:
In the second video, Deirdre Butler, Senior Lecturer in Digital Learning at Dublin City University, answers a number of important questions relating to the importance of 21st Century Skills and the use of technology in education: Why should we change how we teach and learn in schools? Has it not proved effective for the last decades, even centuries? And why should we bring technology into our teaching? Is it not simply a distraction?
2 – TeamUp
TeamUp is a tool developed as part of the iTEC project. It was created as a response to a challenge that emerged in a number of scenarios that included student collaboration. Many teachers found that it could sometimes be difficult to form groups of students and TeamUp was developed to help teachers address this issue.
Not only does it allow you to easily organize the students into groups, it also provides an interface for the groups to record their work. This next video provides the basic instructions on how to use this free web based tool. The tool itself, including a manual can be accessed at teamup.aalto.fi/