After reading Dan Gallagher's post "First Semester as a 1:1 iPad School" I was struck by his definition regarding 21st Century Skills- "To develop students who can work collaboratively, creatively, with innovation through project or challenge based learning activities to learn new knowledge, master that knowledge to better serve our community and the world that we live.". But then the next question made me think. Dan asks "How do you make that happen"?
This quote and question, along with Greg Kulowiec's recent post "DJs, Papert, Jet Engines & iPads" have led me to wonder, with so many educators ingrained in, and coming from, a "traditional" schooling background, do we know how to "work collaboratively, creatively, with innovation through project or challenge based learning activities"? Do most of us need to first acquire these abilities ourselves before we can teach them to our students?
The success of school reform and other various initiatives in education lies in how honestly we confront our answers and respond to these questions. Our willingness to be educators who are open to and thrive in a life where change is inevitable, and our ability to change ourselves, will ultimately decide if tools such as 1:1, project-based-learning and standard-based-grading can lead to meaningful 21st century education.