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TIES 2010 Keynote: Bernie Trilling-21st-Century Skills: Learning For Life in Our Times

Bernie Trilling, co-author of 21st Century Skills, Learning for Life in Our Times, spoke in the Tuesday TIES 2010 Keynote. He started by thanking TIES, and remembering "Oregon Trail," which you can still get on your iPhone!
His focus today is on 21st Century Learning and the current progress on it.
This is an interesting time for education right now.
A tale of Two Cities...The best of times and the worst of times!
What is really going on in Education right now:
  • 1 Foot in the Industrial Age model-An old boat that looks a little rusty
  • Drop out rates are high because the kids are "over-bored!"
  • 1 Foot in the "iBoat!"
  • The boats are moving apart from each other
  • At some point we need to make a decision on where we are headed.
  • This is the case all over the world

How do we get through this transition?

Churchill said, "You can always count on the Americans to do the right thing...After they have tried everything else!""

The critical question: What do students need to learn to be successful in the 21st Century?
The Rear View Mirror
Unfortunately, we have a "rear view mirror" syndrome. We were all in school.. this prevents us from moving forward! We need to toss out the rear view mirror and focus on the future!

The Future:
It Ain't what it used to be!-Berra
The best way to predict the future is to invent it! -Kay
Why do we need 21st century learning?
What do students now need?
How do we get there?
Trilling then lead us through "The four question exercise"
1. In 20 Years, when the child leaves formal education, what will the world be like?
Audience Response:
  • Like the Jetsons!
  • Independent/Personalized Learning
  • Paperless
  • Increased Computer Capability
  • Overcrowded and too warm
  • Work from home, anytime, anyplace
  • Digital Natives in control
  • Disparity between haves and have nots!
  • Learning is entertaining
  • More communication, less boundaries, more connected!
  • Quality of life based on access to technology
2. What skills will your child need to be successful in the world you just painted?

  • Ability to learn and adapt independently
  • Not always a "right" answer
  • Culturally aware AND Globally responsible!
  • REALLY good communication skills
  • Growth minded!-Willing to believe that they can and should continue to learn!
  • Keeping up with the technology
  • Synthesize and evaluate information
  • The easy way is not always the right, moral or ethical way!
  • Finding Balance-Mind, body and spirit
  • Collaboration
  • Connection with the natural world!
  • Flexibility
  • Open minded
  • Know how to "brand" themselves!

3. In your own life, what were the conditions that supported your peak learning experiences?

  • Enthusiastic/passionate teachers, content and students
  • Supportive parents
  • Choice
  • Learning more important than behavior
  • Not driven by grades-Importance of topic is valued
  • Taking responsibility for own learning
  • Connection and empowerment to rest of the world
  • Travel, people skills
  • Involved positive risk-taking
  • Part of a learning community

Trilling: We have created a blueprint for learning!
What would learning look like if it was designed around these
Which skill is most important? Trilling says, "LEARNING! The profession of being an adult in the 21st Century!"

Trilling reminded us of home media technology in 1975 to today. He also notes that students are different today from how they were then as well.
Tapscott study:
  • Personalized Learning
  • Speedy access to online research, writing, sharing, project tools
  • Social Tools
  • High School Survey of Student Engagement from Indiana:
  • 65% of students are bored every day
  • 82% Material not interesting
  • Not relevant
  • No Teacher interaction
The world IS flat!, but workers need 21st Century Skills to compete! Are students ready to work?
Businesses want: Oral skills, teaming, project management-AMA 2010 Critical Skills Survey
The Future World of Work-Routine work done by people or machines going to the lowest bidder. Creative work is where it's at!
He then showed the Partnership for 21st Century Skills Framework. If you look at the framework, almost all were mentioned in the audience response above!
He calls this the 7 "C's"
  1. Content Understanding
  2. Critical Thinking
  3. Cross Cultural Understanding
  4. Collaboration
  5. Communication
  6. Computing Skills
  7. Career and Civic Learning and Self-Reliance

3R's x 7C's =21st Century Learning
How do we do this?
Trilling then showed a clip from Dan Meyer's TEDxNYED talk:

"Every student is intuitively involved." There is no answer in the back of the book! Trilling says that like Dan Meyer, We need to "Be Less Helpful!"
When we "learn about learning" we know that we need context, caring, construction, competence, and community.
He then shared a "Deeper Learning" School Network whose schools use a project-based approach that introduces an authentic essential question to start the learning process. This network includes Edvisions Schools, which includes the Minnesota New Country Day School.
Trilling talked about the importance of the Essential Question in the Project Based Learning process.
He closed his talk with a wonderful story about a school in California that for 18 years has been working on a project that started with a simple question...
And then we read the pledge...(Thanks to @recessduty for the picture)


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