Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Partnership for 21st Century Skills in Minnesota?

I attended a meeting today at Pearson with Mike Booke, a school board member from Marshall, MN and Dan Meyer, CEO of Atomic Learning regarding bringing the Partnership for 21st Century Skills to Minnesota.
The focus of the meeting was on:
1)The importance of the 21st Century Skills Initiative
2)What the Framework is
3)Where do we go from here in Minnesota?

Dan Meyer from Atomic Learning gave the initial presentation, and then turned it over to Mike Booke. He apparently is a school board member in Marshall who is leading a grass roots effort to make this happen. His superintendent was there as well. Marshall has incorporated the Framework into his district's strategic plan.

Meyer spoke about looking at what has worked in other states:
1)Develop stakeholder consensus
2)Embed 21st Century Skills into the standards
3)Embed 21st Century Skills into Professional Development and pre-service learning
4)Embed 21st Century Skills in Assessments

Booke said they are taking a 3-Prong approach to working towards implementation in Minnesota:
1)Seek and get State Policy-Maker Endorsement (They’re meeting with Commissioner Seagren this afternoon to gauge her support.)
2)Establish a Minnesota Partnership for 21st Century Skills organization.
3)Establish Regional partnerships for implementation across the state.

They are looking at forming a steering committee to work on this.

They took suggestions from around the room, one of which was to put them in the context of STEM. This will get the Governor’s attention!

Also including the Minnesota Business partnership and possibly incorporating it with the "Minnesota Promise" initiative will help.

They are supposed to be forwarding out their presentations and will e-mail participants the outcome of this afternoon’s meeting.

Since there is now no one in the Department of Education assigned to Educational Technology issues, for any change to occur, it looks like it will need to be from the ground up. Here's hoping that this initiative is a step in the right direction for improving education in Minnesota!
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