I found the partnership for 21st century skills website very informative. The first thing you see when you view the website is the mission and goal of the site which is very well stated. The website was very colorful and grabbed your attention. The links were clearly labeled, easy to understand, and the entire website was easy to navigate through. It offered a variety of resources for everyone including educators, policy makers, community leaders, and parents. The website also provides several communication methods for collaboration and interaction including an organization newsletter, twitter page link, webinars, and video presentations. The information on this website clearly defines how important 21st century skills are in today’s society and offers valuable information on how these skills can be addressed and taught.
One piece of information on the website that I found very insightful and beneficial was the MILE Guide Self-Assessment Survey. This survey asked a range of questions that evaluated how effective your school and district is in addressing and teaching 21st century skills. The survey provides you with a breakdown of how effective your school and district is in the areas of student knowledge and skills, education support system, education leadership, policy making, partnering, and continuous improvement. For each area rating, there is an explanation of what these results mean and suggestions on how these areas can be improved. This information gave me insight how effectively my school addresses 21st century skills and how we can build on these skills.
Under the Learning Environment section, there is a link entitled Virtual Schools and 21st Century Skills. In this article there is a statement that reads:
“Eighty-four percent of employers say K-12 schools are not doing a good job of preparing students for the workplace “
I cannot speak for grades K-8 but I do know the high schools in our district, which teach grades 9-12, have certain courses and classes that focus on workplace skills and development. In our county we have a division called career and technical education. This department is made up of a group of educators that prepare and equip students with the skills they need to secure, maintain, and excel in the workplace. This department offers courses that teach basic workplace and job skills such as keyboarding, computer applications, small business, and business law. There are also courses that focus on a particular skill or trade such as medical careers, accounting, early child care, auto mechanics, and electrical trades. It is true that every job is different; every employer operates their business in a different way and looks for different skills and talents in each employer. However, I disagree with this statement because I do believe that most educators and most school systems provide students with some type of workplace preparation or at least the skills they need to enter the work force.
I believe that the website can be a great resource for me and many other educators. I believe this website offers a great overview and analysis of the 21st century skills needed in today’s society and how these skills can be accessed and applied to any classroom or curriculum. There is something on this website for every type of learner and a variety of different tools, suggestion, and recommendations for how to best teach these skills depending on our students and classroom environment. The information on this website implies that if students are supported with a system of a healthy learning environment, effective instruction, and a variety of assessment then they can effectively learn and master 21st century skill concepts.