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March 26, 2010

My course, Understanding the Impact of Technology on Education, Work, and Society, at Walden University encouraged us to visit and explore the website of The Partnership for 21st Century Skills (PC21).  This website is dedicated to advancing”21st century” skills within our classrooms of the United States.  The web site states it’s The Partnership for 21st Century Skills is, “to serve as a catalyst to place 21st century readiness at the center of US K12 education by building collaborative partnerships among education, business, community and government leaders.”(P21, 2010)

PC21’s mission is to ensure that today’s students receive the skills and knowledge of the 21st century and maintain that this can be achieved by what they call the three R’s and four C’s.  The three Rs include: English, reading or language arts; mathematics; science; foreign languages; civics; government; economics; arts; history; and geography.  The four Cs include: critical thinking and problem solving; communication, collaboration; and creativity and innovation (PC21’s).   I agree with the sites assertion that these skills our vital for the success of our students. 

The website is not just an avocation mouthpiece…It is a user-friendly website with many tools and resources.  From my Master’s class, I have been made acutely aware of our shortcomings in the classroom in preparing are students for what they need to “not only survive, but thrive in the workforce. (Laureate2008)”  This website give tutorials and shows examples of how the four C’s and three R’s can be implemented into the class and how to implement new technology.  My favorite piece was the “Mile Guide” which is used by schools or districts to assess where they are about skills PC21 has deemed necessary.  With each class I take, I become an advocate for it’s purpose.  My last class was “Linguistic diversity” and because of it, I was motivated and inspired.  I got a student a set of books for school in their native language to assist with their transitioning.  From this technology class, I plan on using the Route 21 info and bringing it to our school to grade our school and see if I can get some things implemented.

One thing that I am shocked about about this website was when I looked on the “state initiatives” tab…  Only 14 states are currently collaborating with PC21.  My state is not one of them unfortunately.  PC21 is willing towork with states, but the states have to  prove commitment from the governor and chief state school officer, and submits an application to P21 that describes the state’s plan to fuse the three Rs and four Cs (critical thinking and problem solving, communication, collaboration, and creativity and innovation) within standards, assessments and professional development programs. (PC21, 2010)  Are only 14 states trying to do this now?  Is the need for changing our views toward education to better suit our future only being done in 14 states?  What are your views?

The place where students should have the greatest oppurtunity to use technology is unfortunately the most restricted place for usage.  After reviewing this website and a similar e-article, Americans Need to Know More About Technology, it is apparent that we must adapt our educational philosophy to not only include, but to strongly implement technology into our methodologies.    America is falling behind.  One reason is because of the neglect or false unerstanding…  Many schools are under the assumtion that since they have a computer class they are teaching technology (New Horizons 2002).  This is simply untrue.  The Partnership for 21st Century Skills site offers a comprehensive guide to implementing technology in schools, districts, and states.  For America to remain competitive in today’s global workforce, action has to be taken.    

References:

The Partnership for 21st Century Skills (2010). Our Mission. Retrieved from http://www.p21.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=188&Itemid=110.

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2008). Technology and Society[Motion Picture] In Understanding the Impact of Technology on Education, Work, and Society. Baltimore: Publisher.

 New Horizons.org  january 2002 http://www.newhorizons.org/strategies/technology/nae.htm

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. March 26, 2010 9:25 pm

    So I think I published at least 2 comments (the same one). Did they come through? Just testing…sorry. Don’t feel like retyping it for a 4th time (my mouse accidently hit the back arrow once too).

    • March 28, 2010 9:51 pm

      I only received two post…. The one saying they waont post and then the one where you accidently hit your mouse…. :0) I don’t know….

  2. March 26, 2010 9:35 pm

    I cannot get my response to show up…any thoughts? Feel free to delete if there’s any duplicates…sorry.

  3. March 28, 2010 4:04 pm

    Chris,

    Critical thinking is one of the most neglected skills in today’s world of standardized testing and teaching to the test. I wish we could incorporate critical thinking into our classes without having to worry about how we can test the kids on it in a standardized setting. Unfortuantely, most of us have to concern ourselves with teaching to tests, as evidenced by the only 28% of the states who have partnered with P21. Those of us in unaffiliated states need to set the wheels in motion for getting our states partnered and moving forward!

  4. March 28, 2010 8:47 pm

    Chris,
    Well done on this blog after reading it I noticed that mine was just not sufficient enough to initiate much further conversation. I thoroughly enjoyed everything in your blog and it was a pleasure to read. One area of blog that I completely agreed with was the discussion on more states being a part of this website and accurately addressing many of the issues in education. The future of this website is all in the hands of actually expanding and I agree that we should look into helping certain areas to obtain access to the site. I just wonders what more can be done to help this site expand on to a higher level.
    The only thing I disagreed on was the four “C’s” and three “R’s” as the entire focus. I almost believe there is more that the site could do to increase its pedagogy in certain areas and I believe creating a place for the different views on this area would be a good starting point. Hopefully this way the site could defend its ideals and prove that it is a great tool for educators all over and maybe more states will join this great website.

    • March 28, 2010 9:58 pm

      It didn’t occur to me the fact it was narrowed (or focused) on the four C’s and three R’s…. I need to look at it more in the upcomig days and reflect on the importance or significance of that aspect. There are pro’s and cons to that strict or narrow approach.

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