Skip to main content

Connecting 21st Century Learning, Technology, and Common Core Standards

21st century learning and technology integration are part of the Common Core design. 21st century skills include:
CC by 3.0 Tracy Watanabe
  • communication and collaboration
  • creative thinking and innovation
  • curation: research and informational fluency
  • critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making
  • digital citizenship
  • computing skills: using technology to learn, communicate, consume, contribute, design, and produce

In the introduction of the Common Core, those skills are referenced, and specifically outlined as a key design consideration, and placed in a portrait of a student who is college and career ready.

They are also interwoven in the anchor standards, which can be viewed by specific grade levels.
Academic conversations

Academic conversations are part of 21st century learning and the Common Core Standards. Constructivism in learning, building meaning based on prior understanding, occurs in academic conversations (speaking and listening face-to-face and digitally, as well as in writing).

Academic conversations are no longer coming just from the teacher; they are taking place face-to-face and digitally with peers and others. Some digital examples are G+ hangouts, Skyping, webinars, etc.

I recently listened to a Schools Moving Up webinar by Nancy Frey called Collaborative Conversations: Speaking and Listening in Secondary Classrooms. Some of the highlights of that webinar were:
  • Speaking and listening is no longer coming only from the front of the classroom. It comes in many forms face-to-face and digitally. Some digital examples are digital storytelling, webinars, video, and many other multimedia.
  • Great speaking and listening skills are closely linked to writing.
  • Three types of writing in the Common Core are: arguments, informational, and narratives. Blogging can help with all three of those.
  • Speaking and listening is connected to the content! They will be better writers if they are better speakers.
  • Accountable talk digs deeper and has sentence stems to help with getting those deep academic conversations (see University of Pittsburgh for more information about this).
  • Sentence frames can help set up those conversations.
  • Discussions can be fostered by the text-dependent questions (about a speech!)
  • Close reading: Reading, rereading text and diving deeper includes critical thinking, and speaking and listening. Vocabulary and word choice would be a rich discussion for this (especially when looking at a speech).
  • The webinar has great close reading and text dependent question connections and examples. Text dependent questions are not always "right there" answers, because sometimes it's inferred and requires critical thinking to deduce.
  • Voki, Voicethread, Glogster, Audioboo, Goanimate, and all the digital storytelling apps and sites would be great ways to bring in speaking and listening with technology.

Technology enhances the learning
Mr. Lockwood's Class Mystery Skyping with Mr. Avery's Class

Technology allows students to learn from outside the classroom, bring experts and peers in to learn new ideas and receive feedback on their learning. It also allows students to publish content and have academic conversations that couldn't exist due to time restrictions or proximity limitations. Technology allows students to learn and make connections beyond the four walls of the classroom.

Final thoughts

The shifts that need to occur in 21st century learning are the same shifts that need to take place to implement Common Core Standards. The bottom line is, it's just good teaching and learning.
  • What relationship do you see with 21st century learning, technology, and the Common Core?
  • How are you implementing the Common Core or 21st century learning in your classroom? How does technology enhance that?
  • What connections have you made or questions do you have about 21st century learning, technology, and the Common Core?


Popular posts from this blog

Close Read Complex Text, and Annotate with Tech--Part 1

Students need to be taught how to read complex texts. One of the strategies for learning how is close reading. It slows the reader down to notice and ponder more. It also connects meaning and builds systems of thought.

Text complexity with close reading

Complex text requires a close reading. So what makes a text complex? There are three "ingredients" to text complexity:

It's important to understand text complexity to build students' literacy skills. As they become more skilled, they will read more complex text on their own.

Introduction to close reading

Here's an overview of close reading:

What does close reading look like in the classroom?

Here are some examples of close reading at different grade levels and content areas (or components of it such as annotation):
9th-10th grade -- Thinking Notes: A Strategy to Encourage Close Reading by the Teaching Channel 10th grade, Close Reading with nonfiction6th grade, Teaching Annotation4th grade, Close Reading3rd grade l…

Close Read Complex Text, and Annotate with Diigo--Part 3

Close reading is a strategy for reading complex text. In Part 1, the focus is how to do a close reading. The focus in Part 2 is how to annotate with iPads. The focal points of this post are the teacher steps in close reading; how to create text dependent questions for informational text in 6th-12th grades; annotating in Diigo; and creating writing activities to go with close reading.
Below are the teacher's steps for creating a close reading lesson. However, the student steps are in the poster shown on the right:

Teacher Step 1: Choose the text

Choose a short and difficult text to do a close reading on. It should be at the frustration reading level.

Some examples to choose from for informational text are short speeches (or excerpts from a speech); research; paragraphs or chapters from biographies, memoirs, or historical accounts to name a few.

Teacher Step 2: Planning

Plan and do what you expect your students to do.
Decide if they will annotate on a paper copy, with sticky notes, o…

Striving for Higher-Order Thinking and Depth of Knowledge

A little over a year ago, I read Higher-order thinking is the exception rather than the norm for most classrooms on Scott McLeod's blog, Dangerously Irrelevant, and have been mulling it over, wondering if our school district is any different.

Over the past year, our teachers periodically collect data with their teams on the types of questions/tasks they ask students. One teacher records teacher questions and the other records student responses on a shared Google Doc; then teams sort through their own data, plotting teacher questions by Bloom's Revised Taxonomy, and student responses to those questions/tasks with Webb's Depth of Knowledge (DOK). The 2012-2013 data showed we were not very different from other districts; therefore, our teamsset their own goals for higher-order thinking and depth of knowledge.

The data so far for the 2013-2014 school year shows questions asked of students are up and down the Bloom's ladder, equally distributed (with a little less in the c…