Thursday, June 21, 2007

[TIPS] Promoting 21st Century skills

This is recorded podcast (sorta) of Ken Kay, president of Partnership for 21st Century Skills, as he gives a talk at this past year’s FETC. The topic is 21st Century Skills – something we’ve heard talked about many times. But, give this one a listen. It’s almost an hour long (so let it run in the background while you do your work) but I think you’ll like what he has to say. Yes, he drops the name of Thomas Friedman and the World is Flat but he has some other very good anecdotes and some good suggestions at the end of his presentation.

At one point he talks about visiting a 5th grade remedial writing class. The teacher gives the kids the assignment to write a story about a rescue. Real, personal, or imagined. It didn’t matter, as long as it was about a rescue. The boy he was sitting beside said that he was going to write a story that would scare people and off he went to try to write it. Ken went to the teacher to comment on it and the teacher said, “You missed the point. Once he made that statement (I’m going to write a story that will scare people.), it became HIS assignment. Self-directed learning. The lesson also included a paper that the kids received at the end of the class that had them reflect on the lesson. “Did you accomplish your task? If not, why not?”, etc. They had a rubric that helped the teacher recognize self-directed learning.

A very informative speech. I do hope you’ll listen to it. It’s an enhanced podcast with his slides showing, too, so you’ll find yourself flipping back to that page to se his slides, I’m sure.

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