17 Replies Latest reply on Jan 7, 2012 7:57 PM by erroth

    Gems of 21st Century Skills Part 1: Learning and Innovation



      As  more and more classrooms embrace the idea of 21st century learning and  target how these skills can be used to enrich classroom content, we thought it would be beneficial to build a list of examples and resources  to help inspire teachers and professional development leaders. 

      We are asking you to share your knowledge in building these lists through three separate threads - one for each of the 21st Century Strings (1)  Learning and Innovation (2) Information, Media, and Technology Skills,  and (3) Life and Career Skills. 

      Here is what we’re looking for:

      • Videos of classroom examples
      • Online Resources that allow practice or provide support of the skills
      • Mobile Apps that go along with those skills
      • Scaffolds (Documents, Presentations, or Handouts) that support the use of the skills
      • Stories and Showcases demonstrating or fostering the skills

      More detailed information on the Learning and Innovation specific skills can be found at the Partnership of 21st Century Skills

      To  keep this discussion fresh and focused, we will challenge you with a specific set of the 21st Century skills for you to share your resources,  so be sure to bookmark this discussion and come back often.

      All entries for this game will be entered into a drawing for an Amazon  Kindle.  Unfortunately, for legal reasons, we can only ship prizes  within the U.S., but the contents of this discussion are applicable to  every Intel Teach educator worldwide, so please help build a solid set  of resources for everyone.

      Also see other Gems of 21st Century Skills: Part II (Information Media and Technology Skills) and Part III (Life and Career Skills)

      We look forward to your contributions.

      Creativity and Innovation (June 24-July 30)

      Think Creatively

      • Use a wide range of idea creation techniques (such as brainstorming)
      • Create new and worthwhile ideas (both incremental and radical concepts)
      • Elaborate, refine, analyze and evaluate their own ideas in order to improve and maximize creative efforts

      Work Creatively with Others

      • Develop, implement and communicate new ideas to others effectively
      • Be open and responsive to new and diverse perspectives; incorporate group input and feedback into the work
      • Demonstrate originality and inventiveness in work and understand the real world limits to adopting new ideas
      • View  failure as an opportunity to learn; understand that creativity and  innovation is a long-term, cyclical process of small successes and  frequent mistakes

      Implement Innovations

      • Act on creative ideas to make a tangible and useful contribution to the field in which the innovation will occur

      Critical Thinking and Problem Solving (July 31- Aug 21)

      Reason Effectively

      • Use various types of reasoning (inductive, deductive, etc.) as appropriate to the situation

      Use Systems Thinking

      • Analyze how parts of a whole interact with each other to produce overall outcomes in complex systems

      Make Judgments and Decisions

      • Effectively analyze and evaluate evidence, arguments, claims and beliefs
      • Analyze and evaluate major alternative points of view
      • Synthesize and make connections between information and arguments
      • Interpret information and draw conclusions based on the best analysis
      • Reflect critically on learning experiences and processes

      Solve Problems

      • Solve different kinds of non-familiar problems in both conventional and innovative ways
      • Identify and ask significant questions that clarify various points of view and lead to better solutions

      Communication and Collaboration (Post this August 22- Sept 10)

      Communicate Clearly

      • Articulate  thoughts and ideas effectively using oral, written and nonverbal  communication skills in a variety of forms and contexts
      • Listen effectively to decipher meaning, including knowledge, values, attitudes and intentions
      • Use communication for a range of purposes (e.g. to inform, instruct, motivate and persuade)
      • Utilize multiple media and technologies, and know how to judge their effectiveness a priority as well as assess their impact
      • Communicate effectively in diverse environments (including multi-lingual)

      Collaborate with Others

      • Demonstrate ability to work effectively and respectfully with diverse teams
      • Exercise flexibility and willingness to be helpful in making necessary compromises to accomplish a common goal
      • Assume shared responsibility for collaborative work, and value the individual contributions made by each team member

      (additional resources from Partnership for 21st century


        • Re: Gems of 21st Century Skills Part 1: Learning and Innovation

          Name of Resource: Tux Paint (http://tuxpaint.org/screenshots/)
          21st Century Skill
          : Creativity
          Type of Resource: Software
          Grade Levels: Grades PreK-4
          How  the resource supports the skill: Tux Paint allows students to create  original artwork that could be used in any curriculum area.  One an art  project we had 1st grade students do was draw their own apple tree in  Tux Paint.  We also took photos of the students in “action mode” of them  sitting in a tree or leaning against it.  You could use a PhotoShop  like software to “cut out” the student photos and lay them on top of  their drawings, but you can also print the photos and student artwork to  have the students glue themselves into their drawings.

            • Re: Gems of 21st Century Skills Part 1: Learning and Innovation

              Name of Resource: MyBrainshark (http://www.brainshark.com/mybrainshark)
              21st Century Skill: Communication and Collaboration
              Type of Resource: web 2.0
              Grade Levels: All (although primarily intermediate elementary and up)
              How   the resource supports the skill: MyBrainshark allows students to narrate powerpoint presentations that they have uploaded. It supports communication and collaboration in the following ways:

                --student authors can present their powerpoint with audio explanations and summaries; they can record and re-record to make corrections. Teams need to agree upon accuracy and clarity. Students can learn to be concise.

                --provides a wider audience; available on brainshark website and can embed or e-mail

                Example of how we used myBrainshark: students created powerpoints for experiments they did in class and presented live in class. Then they uploaded to myBrainshark and narrated. They embeded the powerpoints in the class wiki and asked the other two science classes to review them and make comments. Comments were used to improve subsequent experiments/presentations.

            • Re: Gems of 21st Century Skills Part 1: Learning and Innovation

              As we begin to exam Gems of 21st Century Skills: Learning and Innovation, I wanted to share this quote with your from Partnership of 21st Century Skills (2010)...


              "As the U.S. economy begins to show signs of improvement, executives say they need a workforce fully equipped with skills beyond just the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic (the three Rs) in order to grow their businesses. Skills such as critical thinking and problem solving, communication, collaboration, and creativity and innovation (the four Cs) will become even more important to organizations in the future, according to a new survey conducted by American Management Association (AMA)."


              The article In “Executives Say the 21st Century Requires More Skilled Workers” discusses further the four C's skills.

              • Re: Gems of 21st Century Skills Part 1: Learning and Innovation

                What I also find interesting is that many software companies are beginning to tie their products and services to 21st Century Skills and to the  Partnership for 21st Century Skills.  For example, Inspiration (c)  now has a Thinkspiration blog page with connections to 21st century skills and Partnership for 21st Century. There is a title page entitled Visual Learning in the 21st Century.  I think this is great that more groups are coming on board and realizing the benefit of these essentials skills.

                • Re: Gems of 21st Century Skills Part 1: Learning and Innovation

                  Name of Resource: Glogster (http://edu.glogster.com/) 21st Century Skill: Communication and Collaboration Type of Resource: web 2.0 Grade Levels: All (I would only expect that 6-12 would have the skills to make this work.) How  the resource supports the skill: Glogster is an interactive poster website. Students can make a poster on any item and imbed photos, videos, and music. Students can change their backgrounds, add different text boxes and add clip art. This website has a regular version and an edu version. I posted the edu version because you can go here and create your account so that the students can post to this account. Students create their account and make their posters and then present them to the class. If they are working in collaborative groups, they can each work on the poster and add things to it. You can also go to glogster and browse several different examples of posters that people have added. You can search by subject or by topic.

                    • Re: Gems of 21st Century Skills Part 1: Learning and Innovation



                      I also really like Glogster and I just want to say that my fourth graders - really do a bang up job with this site!  They have used it to facilitate book clubs, About Me presentations, group projects, science projects and more!  I have even heard of some third graders using it to create similar content.  I think at this time stdents are much more adept in figuring out technology. I also believe that younger students could work on Glogster first as a class and with extra support.

                      Lots of great ideas can take flight here.

                      • Re: Gems of 21st Century Skills Part 1: Learning and Innovation

                        In reference to Glogster use in the classroom:  I have been toying with Glogster a bit, but had some difficulty so I never used it in my classes.  This year I am going to use it more and more.  One of the ways I will use it is for vocabulary review.  I like that it allows video, since my students are hearing impaired.  I will video tape the students putting the word into a signed sentence.  I think this will add excitement for the students, and a cool dimension to the vocabulary Glogsters.

                      • Re: Gems of 21st Century Skills Part 1: Learning and Innovation

                        Name of Resource: Toontastic and ibrainstorm
                        21st Century Skill
                        : Creativity
                        Type of Resource: mobile app
                        Grade Levels: Grades 3-12
                        How  the resource supports the skill: This app (Toontastic) allows students to create their own story going through 5 stages of creating a story. With each scene students can draw their own background or use the ones provided. They can also draw their own characters or use the ones provided. I use ibrainstorm (another mobile app) to plan out the story. For some students it is importatnt for them to have a base to start with but if they want to create their own characters that is an option as well. In the end they come up with a video that they have created that has animation, music and audio. It is simple to use but can be enhanced for higher levels. The final cartoon that is created is given a web address to be shared with others.

                        • Re: Gems of 21st Century Skills Part 1: Learning and Innovation

                          Check out the NetKids at Warrensburg! The students have them out almost all day long exploring, researching, creating, etc. The classroom teachers have said learning and using the netbooks has totall transformed their teaching. http://www.warrensburgr6.org/esargent (click on the NetKids news).

                          • Re: Gems of 21st Century Skills Part 1: Learning and Innovation

                            Name of Resource:  Photostory3

                            For use with creative thinking, this site gives students the opportunity to create a story using pictures.  It is  great to use with younger students as a tool to use before introducing MovieMaker.

                            • Re: Gems of 21st Century Skills Part 1: Learning and Innovation

                              Here is a great decision making skills self-assessment tool that would best fit high school students. 



                              • Re: Gems of 21st Century Skills Part 1: Learning and Innovation

                                Another great resource on decision making are Choose Your Own Adventure interactives such as this one - http://pbskids.org/itsmylife/games/mortifying/index.html

                                • Re: Gems of 21st Century Skills Part 1: Learning and Innovation

                                  With all of the great new Web 2.0 tools out there, I always feel like I'm going old school when I share Google Docs with people. However, when I'm looking at active integration that is ideal for collaboration, I think Google Docs! 


                                  While I was preparing for a workshop this summer, I came across Esther Wojcicki's google spreadsheet called, "Docs &Spreadsheets in the Classroom".  In it, she shared examples from her classroom of high school students using Google Docs.  It has some great examples, albiet they are dated now.


                                  Why I like Google Docs??

                                  1. Because my son was having issues with the flash drive that his teacher wanted him to use. We started Google Docs and his work was always at hand no matter if he was at home or school, no matter which classroom or town he was in.
                                  2. By creating documents and  sharing them with students, they all have a chance to actively edit the classroom document.
                                  3. Each change to the page is documented under the File- See Revision History feature.  Revisions are tracked by date and by the username that made the edit. The owner can always go back to a previous version.
                                  4. Users that have edit rights to the document can login and view/edit the page. Collaboration takes a leap forward when you find that multiple users can all edit the same document and the same time.  Different colored cursors move across the page for the different logged-in users.
                                  5. Final copies can be published online without the need of a separate website. Share- Publish will create a URL for the document and it can be viewed by anyone.


                                  I'm lucky that our district is opening the door to Google Docs to 1st-12th graders, but a substantial group of high schoolers can sign up for their own accounts and have access to all of these features. What a great tool to have students use for creative writing, project creation, presentations that can be immediately viewed online, etc.


                                  For collaboration in the classroom that utilizes a great deal of technology, Google Docs is one of my favorite tools!!


                                  Howard Martin

                                  • Re: Gems of 21st Century Skills Part 1: Learning and Innovation

                                    My students have been learning how to apply the scientific method. We are just now completing an activitiy involving pendulums. The overarching question was "Which independent variable will affect the period of a pendulum the most?" Students brainstormed possible independent variables, hypothesized, etc., the chose a variable to explore. They used their journals, a wiki page, and a google spreadsheet to collaborate with each other and post and present their work. After the presentations, we summarized the findings and answered the overarching question. Length affected the period the most. Then I challenged the students to make a pendulum timer that would act like the second hand on a clock. I demonstrated a couple of ways to change the length of a pendulum, but students noted that neither method could be fine-tuned (which would be important in making their pendulum timers). So, I challenged them to come up with a better way.

                                    Brief video of two groups' solutions

                                    Google Spreadsheets with pendulum data/graphs (you'll need to click on the sheet tabs at the bottom of the spreadsheet)

                                    Sample Pendulum Experiment