Sunday, February 07, 2010

Meditation on 21st Century Skills

One of the reasons why teachers should not feel threatened by technology or change is that in the next decade, the skills needed to be literate in the age of social media are still going to draw on traditional literacies and rhetoric. As a matter of fact, one of the weaknesses of "New Media" is the focus on technology at the expense of solid critical thinking skills. There is so much reposting of stories and not enough fact checking and analysis. Many education blogs will repost stories from sources that are not credible and pass them along as "fact." (Take, for instance, stories about teaching and learning in virtual worlds posted by those who have little experience in the topic.)

I believe that the three modalities of learning will center around critical thinking, networking, and new media. In other words, students will have to be able to analyze information, connect with others, and then use technology to publish their results or express themselves. This has been true since the invention of writing.

I am looking for more feedback on these 21st Century Literacies. There is a lot of talk about the need and not enough on what they are and why. Please feel free to contribute to this conversation using the comment feature of this blog.

1 comment:

  1. I really love this post and I will share it with my students and colleagues. 3 of us are running a large undergraduate module called Emerging Technologies and we have adopted an approach of connecting their own experiences of social media/web services to their degree disciplines. Critical thinking has to have a valued and valid context. This year we have used a case study of a local indie music manager/ promoter who wants to make use of emerging tech in his business. Most students can relate to this as consumers and producers. In HE the acquisition of these skills should be embedded in the curriculum ( not as freestanding training) and draw on students own practice.