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EDITOR'S NOTES: Tools and Techniques for 21st-Century Learning

By David Hoffman - Posted Sep 1, 2010
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The September/October issue of Multimedia & Internet@Schools is our “back to school” issue with a twist: The theme is “21st-Century Skills,” with much of the content directed toward helping you with what you need to know and understand as you begin your duties at the start of the second decade of the 21st century.

The Overview

Well-known educator and administrator Rudy Crew, former chief of the New York City school system and former superintendent of the Miami-Dade County school system, has contributed to this focus with his article, Four Competencies for a 21st-Century Education and How to Implement Them (p. 8). In the story, Crew explains his posited four competencies—academic, occupational, civic, and personal—as well as why addressing them will “help every student graduate high school fully equipped to face a world that will demand the highest level of skill and experience as a well-rounded individual.”

And our Tools for Learning feature is titled 21st-Century Learning in 2010: A Global Imperative (p. 11), drawing on educators’ and educational technology product developers’ thinking that author Victor Rivero picked up during a visit to this summer’s ISTE conference. Victor cruised the show, talking with attendees and presenters, as well as with representatives from organizations such as the Partnership for 21st-Century Skills and The Software & Information Industry Association, to get their opinions on our issue theme. The result is an information- and resource-packed article!

In the Trenches

School technology director Renee Ramig’s feature Online Tools for Research—Elementary and Middle School Style (p. 15) describes and demonstrates how to use some of the “more-powerful, flexible, and varied online tools being developed … tools that can help [students] find, evaluate, and organize the megaloads of information out there.”

Tech Effect columnist Johanna Riddle describes a remarkable high school student’s work to create something he calls “EduSweet,” an “engaging solution to keep the school-to-home connection alive and kicking” that “marries the traditional components of online grades, assignments, calendars, and notes with one-step social networking.” Read all about this progressive project in How Sweet It Is: One Teen’s Take on Classroom Management Software and the Future of School-to-Home Communication (p. 21).

As the always quotable Stephen Abram notes in this month’s Pipe-line column (p. 18), “It is clearly one thing to plan to develop 21st-century learning strategies and goals, but another thing—a big leap, in fact—to demand that all teachers, students, librarians, and administrators be prepared with the skills needed to implement this vision!”

David Hoffman , editor

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