I’ll start by listing those seven survival skills again:
- Problem-solving and critical thinking
- Collaboration across networks and leading by influence
- Agility and adaptability
- Initiative and entrepreneurship
- Effective written and oral communication
- Accessing and analyzing information
- Curiosity and imagination
Collaborating across networks – do students collaborate? You bet, everyday. They work together building Facebook and My Space sites, they form bonds of friendship from texting their many friends everyday and join forces as a team for many of their video games. I continue to read about companies that are using video games for educational purposes. Can we as educators build on the collaborative skills our students already possess? Sure we can.
I don’t need to go through the rest of the list because by now you’re thinking about the students you work with everyday and seeing the skills they already possess. This led me to an article that outlined 10 ways to boost learning with technology. No one would disagree that we have a crisis in education today. In spite of the resources and money used for education students continue to fall behind students in other countries.
The State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) came up with an action plan with ten recommendations for national, state and local education leaders:
- Ensure that technology tools and resources are used continuously and seamlessly for instruction, collaboration, and assessment.
- Expose all students (pre-K through 12th grade) to STEM fields and careers - Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
- Make ongoing, sustainable professional development available to all teachers.
- Use virtual learning opportunities for teachers to further their professional development, such as through online communities and education portals.
- Incorporate innovative, consistent, and timely assessments into daily instruction.
- Strengthen the home-school connection by using technology to communicate with parents on student progress.
- Provide the necessary resources so that every community has the infrastructure to support learning with technology, including assessments and virtual learning.
- Obtain societal support for education that uses technology from all stakeholders – students, parents, teachers, state and district administrators, business leaders, legislators, and local community members.
- Provide federal leadership to support states and districts regarding technology’s role in school reform by passing the ATTAIN Act, the Achievement Through Technology and Innovation Act.
- Increase available funding for e-Rate so that schools can acquire telecommunication services, internet access, internal connections, and maintenance of those connections.