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Review: 21st Century Skills (by Bernie Trilling and Charles Fadel)

Book: 21st Century Skills: Learning for life in our times
Author: Bernie Trilling and Charles Fadel
Publisher: Jossey-Bass (2009)

Some ten years into the 21st century, I find it amazing that we are still having conversations on what skills are necessary to succeed in this new century. We’ve explored some ideas of what skills are relevant before (see this, this, this, and this, for example), and there appears to be a general consensus that there are needs for skills development in creativity, innovation, smart use of ICTs, and social leadership. This is exactly in line with what Bernie Trilling and Charles Fadel, co-board members on the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, identify (lifted from the book jacket):

  • Learning and Innovation Skills: Creativity and Innovation, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving, and Communication and Collaboration
  • Digital Literacy Skills: Information Literacy, Media Literacy, and ICT Literacy
  • Career and Life Skills: Flexibility and Adaptability, initiative and Self-Direction, Social and Cross-Cultural Skills, Productivity and Accountability, Leadership and Responsibility

What makes this book valuable to practitioners, however, is that instead of building up chapters of reasoning for why we need to adopt the P21 skill set in education, they focus more on what each of these skills mean. Moreover, they tie in examples of the skills in practice with an included DVD, containing real-life classroom examples.

While the book excels at understanding each of the P21 skills and their implications, it falls short on how to build these skills in broader contexts – i.e., as a replacement set for NCLB standards. For this, the text could have benefited with an invitation –and mechanism– for its readers to join the conversation on adopting and embracing new skills for the 21st century. Instead, leading the conversation seems left to us: Where shall we begin?


Note: The publisher provided a copy of the book for review. Please read our review policy for more details on how we review products and services.

Exploring education futures at TEDxLaguna


Photo by Cristóbal Cobo

On Monday, I participated in TEDxLaguna, the second TEDx event ever held in Mexico. I called for “leapfrogging toward Knowmad Society” (video coming soon). Also, Cristóbal Cobo shared an overview and invitation to join our Invisible Learning collaboration. I believe the event was a great success, and I am pleased to have collaborated with Ernesto Gonzales (the event’s organizer), his team, and the other speakers. Videos of the talks will be posted to the TEDx YouTube channel soon, possibly in both English and Spanish… stay tuned!!!

Related on the Net: El Siglo de Torreón: Muestran ideas transformadoras

Thank you!

The e-competencies conference is over –and, by all measures, it seems to be a resounding success! Many, many thanks go to Cristóbal Cobo and Jutta Treviranus for the co-organization of the event.

I am particularly grateful for our amazing participants. A few of their presentations are already online:

  • Martín Parselis (Video) [UCA]
  • Guillermo Lutzky (Video) [ORT]
  • Tom Elko (Video) [Independent Media Producer]
  • Janet Murphy (Video) [UToronto]
  • Miguel Raimilla (Video) [ONE ROOF ]
  • Florencio Ceballos (Video) [IDRC]
  • Suzanne Miric and Patrick Walker (Video) [UMN / METAMORF Tech.]
  • Roberto Balaguer (Video) [U de la R ]
  • Pablo Muñoz (Video 1 and 2 ) [UDD]
  • Germania Rodríguez (Video) [UTPL]
  • Víctor Zárate and Marilú Casas (Video ) [ITESM]
  • Jorge Silva (Video) [U.Toronto]
  • Jayson Richardson (Video) [UMN]
  • Stian Haklev (Video) [U.Toronto
  • Edgardo Lurig (Video) (ICT Policy Advisor of RNTC and UCSF)

Also, we had some great real-time presentations. Cristóbal Cobo posted many of our slide sets at Issuu:

Finally, I wish to express my gratitude to the amazing support team at FLACSO-México that made the conference possible, especially Ana Karla Romeu, Aarón Láscarez, Javier Cruz, Edgar Gutierrez, Déborah Monroy and Marduk Pérez de Lara. Thank you all!

On top of all these thank you’s, additional thanks goes to Cristóbal Cobo for compiling above lists of presentations.

The (almost) final e-competencies program

The FLACSO-México, University of Minnesota, and University of Toronto collaborative conference/seminar on E-competencies for the 21st and 22nd centuries will take place this Friday.  We have a tremendous list of speakers, and if you are not able to participate in person, we hope that you will be able to join us virtually.  The event will be broadcast live via two streams:

Also, updates will be posted via Twitter:  http://twitter.com/ecompetencies

Read on for the event program:

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Preliminary e-competencies program

The preliminary program for the upcoming e-competencies event on October 31 in Mexico City is now available! Although this is likely to change a lot, I want to share it immediately to highlight the excellent minds (from nine countries) that will be joining us!

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E-Competencies deadline this Friday

 

This is just a reminder that the submission deadline to participate in this FLACSO-México, University of Minnesota and University of Toronto co-organized event on e-competencies and e-skills is coming up this Friday (September 26).  Participants can join in person or virtually, and need not present to join the event (although presentations are encouraged!). We already have many outstanding proposals from throughout the Americas (and beyond), and welcome a few more!  Feel free to contact me with questions, etc., at moravec@umn.edu.

More information is at the conference website: www.e-competencies.org (or, in Spanish: www.e-competencias.org).

E-competencies: Building human capital for the 22nd century

Upcoming event:

October 31, 2008

Mexico City, Mexico

Conference website: www.e-competencies.org

The Knowledge Society demands that we leapfrog ahead in our education systems, build a new digital literacy, and improve soft skills (creativity, innovation, collaboration, communication, and critical thinking, among others) that could help all 21st century citizens become productive, effective knowledge workers. Educators, policymakers, business leaders, parents, and youth must identify and develop new sets of e-skills and e-competencies to help youth succeed, and build a capacity for success toward the 22nd century.  The purpose of this event is to identify, project and discuss the e-skills and e-competencies required for success in the 21st and early 22nd centuries. This event will explore, gather and analyze relevant experiences in training and development of e-skills throughout North America.

The activity builds from the collaborative work of scholars from FLACSO-México, the University of Minnesota and the University of Toronto.  This public session invites thought leaders and innovators in the development of the e-skills to share their work and experiences. Guest presenters will be invited to participate physically or virtually, and all presentations will be recorded, translated into Spanish and English, and available for viewing online and discussion.

This event is funded through the support of PIERAN, the Interinstitutional Program for North American Studies at El Colegio de México, and the collaborating institutions.

This is not your typical conference!

To facilitate focused discussions and innovative approaches to dialogue on e-competencies, the organizing committee has established the following rules:

  • No presentation may be longer than 10 minutes (this is the maximum length allowed by YouTube, and will be strictly enforced).
  • A maximum of four PowerPoint (or similar) slides will be allowed.  It is the presenter’s responsibility to ensure both English and Spanish versions of their slides and any accompanying materials are available.

In addition:

  • There are no registration fees for this conference!
  • Although in-person presentations are encouraged, presenters may participate virtually (via Skype or Adobe Acrobat Connect) or in-person.
  • Participants that find it difficult to participate via live video or in person may contribute a pre-recorded YouTube (or similar) video to be shown during the event and made available in the online library.
  • Presenters and participants from throughout the world are invited.
  • All participants will be invited to continue our discussions online at this conference website and elsewhere.
  • All conference products will be made available for further dissemination and development through a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike license.

To submit a proposal, click here. (Deadline: September 26, 2008)

More information at the conference website: www.e-competencies.org