21st Century Skills

How a Classics Education Prepares Students for a Modern World

Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether they could, that they didn’t stop to think if they should.Ian Malcolm, Jurassic ParkAs described in our modern mythical tale, Jurassic Park, technology may not always lead to positive outcomes if implemented without critical thought, moral ground or inquiry. From cloning to social media, it is more essential to understand the ethical implications of an idea and how it will impact people than it is to build well-designed code.

The Future of Education Depends on Social Emotional Learning: Here’s Why

Social and emotional abilities are said to be indicators of how well a person adjusts to his or her environment, adapts to change and, ultimately, how successful she or he will be in life. In fact, core development abilities such as conscientiousness, emotional stability, openness, and agreeableness can be as or even more important than cognitive intelligence in determining future employment. Despite these competencies being related to consequential life outcomes, it can be challenging for educators to find effective ways to prioritize, teach and assess social and emotional skills.

The Key to 21st Century Classrooms Isn't Tech. It's Evolved Teaching.

I often hear people question whether teachers are willing to embrace technology, but if we really want to transform teaching and learning, I think the better question is, “Are we willing to change our expectations for how and what students learn?” If we only focus on the latest programs, makerspaces or the devices rather than on creating powerful learning experiences that align with the type of skills and character traits we want students to develop, we will continue to perpetuate the same norms in education with more expensive tools.

Teaching Kids Finance and Smart Spending With Cryptocurrency

Show a fourth grader how to balance a checkbook and it won’t be long before her eyes start to glaze over or his mind starts to wander off to more interesting things. Infuse a financial literacy lesson with terms like bitcoin or cryptocurrency, however, and the lesson gets a bit more interesting. Better yet, give the student a very hands-on, tech-centric way to experiment with those financial concepts, and suddenly you’re in an entirely new learning realm.

How One Teacher Uses Live Video to Foster SEL and Connect to Classrooms Around the World

Zerifa Radlein-Grant is quietly changing students’ lives by introducing them to the world.

Optimizing Professional Learning for Educators (Infographic)

K-12 teachers are clear about what they want, so why are professional learning woes common nationwide?Educators face many obstacles when it comes to pursuing professional learning. Not the least of which is time. Learn more about the issues teachers are facing and how schools can find a solution.

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How Using Slack Can Improve Socratic Seminars

If you’ve ever tried a Socratic seminar with your students, or know a colleague who has, this story may sound eerily familiar: After spending the semester shoring up students’ contextual knowledge through multimedia presentations and analyzing primary and secondary sources together, students file in for the big day and gently pick up their Socratic seminar prep packet.

How AR and VR Can Inspire Innovation—and Boost College and Career Readiness

At 17 years old, Christine Johns sat in a university classroom surrounded by men and women who were devastated as Pittsburgh's steel industry collapsed around them. Displaced steelworkers and stay-at-home mothers found themselves desperate for an education—and the work it would help secure.

How Students Can Lead the Way for Civil Debate on Challenging Topics

Several years ago, after observing a class of students in a tough area of Boston run their own debate for a full class period, I commented that I couldn’t tell who was friends with whom because they all agreed and disagreed only on the basis of convincing arguments. I wasn’t seeing any “I’m with him” or “us against them” attitudes.

Four Ways Digital Financial Education Is Improving Student Outcomes

In 2015, my organization embarked on an ambitious initiative to improve financial capacity in middle school students across the United States. Research found that by the age of 12, students had developed an economic understanding that was “essentially adult”—but they did not have the education or skills needed to tackle many complex financial decisions.

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