Here are a few of the many frameworks for writing and thinking about the skills students need to function effectively in the digital age.
The MacArthur Foundation’s New Media Literacies
Henry Jenkins and colleagues in the report for The MacArthur Foundation, Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture, list the following essential new media literacies:
Play -The capacity to experiment with the surroundings as a form of problem solving.
Performance – The ability to adopt alternative identities for the purpose of improvisation and discovery.
Simulation – The ability to interpret and construct dynamic models of real-world processes.
Appropriation – The ability to meaningfully sample and remix media content.
Multitasking – The ability to scan the environment and shift focus onto salient details.
Distributed cognition – The ability to interact meaningfully with tools that expand mental capacities.
Collective intelligence – The ability to pool knowledge and compare notes with others toward a common goal.
Judgment – The ability to evaluate the reliability and credibility of different information sources.
Transmedia navigation – The ability to follow the flow of stories and information across multiple modalities.
Networking – The ability to search for, synthesize, and disseminate information.
Negotiation – The ability to travel across diverse communities, discerning and respecting multiple perspectives, and grasping and following alternative norms.
The Partnership for 21st Century Skills
This framework claims that 21st century students need to learn:
- “the 3Rs” (i.e. core Subjects using 21st century themes) and
- “the 4Cs”
- Creativity and Innovation
- Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
- Information, Media and Technology Literacies
- Life and Career Skills.
Ribble’s Nine Elements
Mike Ribble lists nine elements of Digital Citizenship:
- Digital Access
- Digital Commerce
- Digital Communication
- Digital Literacy
- Digital Etiquette
- Digital Law
- Digital Rights and Responsibilities
- Digital Health and Wellness
- Digital Security
He uses the concept of REPs to explain and teach these elements:
- Respect Yourself and Others
- Educate Yourself and Others
- Protect Yourself and Others
Assessment and Teaching of 21st Century Skills
- Ways of thinking. Creativity, critical thinking, problem-solving, decision-making and learning
- Ways of working. Communication and collaboration
- Tools for working. Information and communications technology (ICT) and information literacy
- Skills for living in the world. Citizenship, life and career, and personal and social responsibility
and two skills that span all four categories:
- Collaborative problem-solving. Working together to solve a common challenge, which involves the contribution and exchange of ideas, knowledge or resources to achieve the goal.
- ICT literacy — learning in digital networks. Learning through digital means, such as social networking, ICT literacy, technological awareness and simulation. Each of these elements enables individuals to function in social networks and contribute to the development of social and intellectual capital.
The Australian Curriculum’s General Capabilities
I recently heard Professor Barry McGaw, one of the architects of the Australian Curriculum, explain how 21st Century Skills had been interpreted in its framing. As he explained, these skills have probably always been important. It’s just that they have different manifestations in the 21st century than they might have had in the past. The Australian Curriculum calls them General Capabilities.
- Information and communication technology capability
- Critical and creative thinking
- Personal and social capability
- Ethical understanding
- Intercultural understanding
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/x1brett/4408413174/”>Brett Jordan</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a>