I am once again in a cycle where reading time is dramatically reduced. I’ve not opened my current book at all this week. Thanks to my lovely wife allowing me a lazy Saturday morning (by allowing I mean she has looked after everything), I’ve had some time to catch up on my blog reading and important tweeters. Two posts in particular caught my attention for various reasons.
- Chris Betcher – Five Simple Skills
In this succinct post, Chris identifies five core skills he believes teachers should possess in order to enable their engagement with 21st century learning. Now while I don’t necessarily agree with his list, its a great starting point for any teacher wanting to enhance their own skills and knowledge, or a leader designing training to enhance the skills and knowledge of their staff. So I applaud him for drilling down to identify a definite number of simple skills that can lead to further skill development and increased ability.
In my opinion, effective searching is the most important skill. Chris has this at the top of his list but he does not necessarily state they are in order of priority. Once teachers and students can search effectively (and beyond Google) their access to relevant and valid knowledge is increased significantly. Knowing how to use web services such as all the options within Google search, certainly makes life easier and a person more effective. I also like to teach my students (and teachers) to search through dedicated repositories as a launchpad to locating reliable and valid information – particularly for research. The first three places I send them are my delicious account, wikipedia and slideshare. Important to note I set these up as launchpads to research – the sites themselves are not citable evidence.
Editing of photos, pictures and video is also essential. Understanding the need to manipulate quality and sizes of files for various uses should go hand in hand with this.
Personally I would add 2 more skills to the list; using RSS and backing up. I’ve lost count of the times a student or colleague has lost files due to a damaged USB drive or some other occurrence. A backup solution certainly reduces the stress and pain involved with this. The backup options these days are many and varied. RSS is such an effective way to gather information in a time efficient manner, especially when you know a source will continue to produce quality information.
Thanks to Chris for this post, it has provided me new direction to help develop my teachers for the Transformative Learning Project I am managing this year.
- Dean Groom – Class vs. Metaverse pedagogy
Dean has certainly a strong opinion about the (un)balance between educational policy and 21st century learning. This post will hold items that many teachers can relate to yet still provide us food for thought and motivation. I particularly like his identification of “motivation-centred” learning instead of “student-centred” learning. An interesting concept that could do with some exploration and reflection on my part.