The Importance of “21st Century Skills”

modernclassroom small The Importance of 21st Century Skills

The ideal classroom includes technology so that students can learn 21st Century Skills throughout the day.

Lately there has been a fair amount of pressure on tech directors and teachers to cultivate “21st century skills” in their students. But what exactly does this mean? What are 21st century skills?

In general, the term “21st century skills” is used to refer to anything computer or technology related. Specifically however, this term describes the skills and knowledge that go into effectively utilizing technology, today and in the future.

Once out of school, students will enter a world where computers and technology are practically a necessity. Almost every business now relies upon computers to increase the efficiency of its workers. Students need to enter this world possessing the knowledge and skills to succeed.

Traditionally, the computer teacher was tasked with teaching students 21st century skills while the core teacher focused on more traditional subjects such as reading, writing and mathematics. But why should these lessons be mutually exclusive? Why can’t we weave 21st century skills in to core lessons?

21st century skills teach students about critical thinking, problem solving and collaboration, all things that are valued in a traditional classroom. By teaching students how to effectively use computers, they will become digitally literate and better prepared for life beyond the school walls. Teaching our students how to find information on the internet and identify credible sources will make them better 21st century citizens.

When schools are able to effectively integrate the teaching of 21st century skills into the classroom, student achievement increases, dropout rates decline and student attendance improves. Additionally, students become more involved in the learning process and engage with their studies on a higher level.

How are you working to incorporate 21st century skills into your school?

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4 Responses to The Importance of “21st Century Skills”

  1. slehan says:

    Since I am not involved in education (except my own learning) this does not apply to me.
    I think it is important to make sure all students have access to computers on a regular basis.

  2. Anita Jones says:

    i’m not a teacher, but i will definitely be asking my child’s teacher about this. i really have no idea what they’re teaching the students about computers and technology.

  3. Charles says:

    As a professional who works with computers every day, I completely agree with this post. We have multiple computers in my home: a variety of desktops, laptops, and smart phones. From my 15-year-old to my 5-year-old, they all love technology and take it like a fish in water. I have been involved at a government contractor level on several projects to upgrade and integrate technology into the classroom.

  4. Stacey says:

    The photo you have is not a classroom — it’s a school library which is a hub of learning 21st century skills.

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