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Breaking Down 21st-Century Skills

In case you missed it, my colleague Stephen Sawchuk recently hosted a conversation on edweek.org with Patte Barth, the director of the Center for Public Education at the National School Boards Association, and Craig D. Jerald, the president of Break the Curve Consulting, about 21st-century skills. The chat, which took place last week, has an archived version here.

The conversation did not focus on technology as much as you might guess, and the guests even acknowledged that although using technology is one way to teach 21st-century skills—like collaboration—it's not the only way to do so. In fact, sometimes it's better to use low-tech solutions or in-person, face-to-face projects to teach the skills students need to be successful.

The chat guests also answered questions about how to assess 21st-century skills properly and how to encourage reluctant teachers to embrace and integrate technology into the classroom. Both Patte and Craig provided links to research and resources that might be helpful to those who are interested in this topic. For more background about 21st-century skills, check out Stephen's story about the motives of the 21st-century skills movement as well as his story about how West Virginia teachers are incorporating 21st-century skills into their teaching.

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