Today’s students live in a world that is extremely fast-paced, constantly changing, increasingly culturally diverse, technologically driven and media saturated. Many of our schools continue to deliver a 20 th Century, Scientific Management, Factory Model of education (Shaw, 2004)
They need to learn to think outside the box, access strategically use new information, and develop good people skills (Wallis and Steptoe, 2006)
There are six (6) learning skills that are important to survive the rapid changes and many challenges of the 21st century. (1) One is creativity, that is, the ability to think outside the box. (2)Another is independence, which is having the attitude that says “I can do things by myself.” (3)Another is being collaborative, wherein one can work well in teams and with other people. (4)Another is being communicative, where the learner can show someone that he or she understands something. (5)Another skill is questioning, or being inquisitive, wherein the learner questions to find out more about something. (6)Finally, the modern learner is reflective, analyzing to learn. Students should be allowed to use and develop their higher-order thinking, encouraging them to reflect, evaluate, create, and analyze.
When the student is placed in a learning environment where these six skills are constantly developed, eventually he or she will face the world able to make critical decisions, will be a creative thinker, will be resilient amidst challenges, and will have flexible skills and competencies that enable them to be good team players and to lead themselves and others to perform well and beyond their potential and expectation. This is the 21st century learner, and this is how we can have a new Philippines, by having a new kind of citizenry that is global in thinking and can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the League of Nations.
There has been a shift in education away from technology as a subject to integrating technology across the whole curriculum so that students can use it as a tool to develop the key skills needed to be successful in the 21st century. These important skills are included in NETS for students (NETS-s)
While it is important for children acquire the skills needed to use technology, it is more important that they learn to use technology for much broader learning goals. Students need the opportunity to make the content their own through creativity and innovation and have the opportunity to communicate and collaborate with others, both in the classroom and remotely. In a digital world full of information of all sorts, children need to be taught how to find information effectively and be critical of the information they encounter. They need to understand the importance of using their values to navigate the digital world responsibly and safely. This requires them to have teachers who serve as good role models in the 21st century classroom to enhance teaching and learning. This is why the NETS for teachers (NETS-t) are so important.
For teachers and students to be successful in the 21st century classroom, they need a larger school culture in which there is forward thinking and a culture which supports effective technology integration. Administrators must provide the resources and training needed for effective teaching and learning with technology and must seek to continue to improve how technology is used in the educational environment.
Ultimately, for technology to be used effectively in the 21st century classroom, it must be used to support the needs of the 21st century learner and the world he or she lives in. Any good use of technology requires a solid pedagogical foundation be in place which supports the learning of the key skills needed for children to be successful in the modern world (creativity, innovation, collaboration, communication, social participation, research and critical thinking skills, responsible digital citizens). When the learning objectives are established in advance, educators will be able to select the best tool available (technological or otherwise) to help their students better learn.
* Global Perspective * Web-based learning communication environment * Framework outlining 21 st Century themes and skills * Profile national efforts response to the international pressures of political, economic, cultural, demographic technological, linguistic and environmental globalization.
* Model of curriculum development and change * Ability to incorporate 21 st century skills in their lesson planning * Incorporating 21 st century skills into their context area instruction * A comprehensive look at the media literacy * How mobile technologies can interface with web virtual environment
* Alternative approach to traditional schooling * Tells the story on how college of education is adapting the 21 st century context.