Several months ago, during an iChat text exchange with Marco Torres he suggested I record a short video outlining the 21st century literacy skills I believe our students need to have as they enter the workforce. This afternoon (at long last) I recorded a 14 minute video and posted it to Google Video on this subject. The keys, in my view, are helping learners of all ages regularly create, communicate, and collaborate with digital technologies as they further develop their higher order thinking skills.

In addition to my own blog, I referenced The Partnership for 21st Century Skills and the FREE K-12 Online Conference as outstanding resources for community and school advocates.

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5 Responses to 21st Century Skills Our Students Need

  1. […] July, 2008 in Uncategorized 21st Century Skills Our Students Need » Moving at the Speed of CreativityHere’s a video post from Wesley Fryer. This is interesting as it is framed as the views of […]

  2. […] 21st Century Skills Our Students Need » Moving at the Speed of Creativity (tags: 21stcenturyskills wesfryer) […]

  3. You and I must read the Partnership for 21st Century Skills differently. I don’t actually find content there, just marketing slogans for the corporations funding the effort.

  4. Kent Manning says:

    Expanding the Conversation

    Wes, you have provided for us an excellent start to the conversation about 21st Century Skills in your video. I suggest we expand the dialogue to include 21st Century Learning. Let me explain.

    Your 3 basic things, creating, communicating and collaborating are part of the larger conversation which could be entitled, “Education for the 21st Century”.

    As you mentioned, the need for teams to work autonomously, continuously, to meet deadlines and to do this by using higher order thinking skills is important. Perhaps we could expand the discussion by using one of the 21st Century Learning frameworks which exists and was developed by the RSA. I am sure there are other frameworks as well.

    The RSA has developed a series of documents in their Education Sector called “Opening Minds”. In the Education for 21st century paper here:

    they describe a “Competence Framework/Model” [Page 18 and 19] which consists of 5 broad categories:

    Relating to People
    Managing Situations
    Managing Information

    For example, your description/example in the video on evaluating, analysing, synthesizing [to create a document] falls into the Managing Information competency. The reason why I like the model so much is that it has as its focus the “people part” of things. The people side: citizenship, relating, and situation management. These are necessary additions to the conversation about giving students and teachers cell phones and laptops to use.

    What I see in my regular Educational Technology support for 46 schools is the need for attention to the affective domain [yes they need the tools too]. In one school they have laptop carts. The students in one particular class were thrilled to receive them in September, but it took at least 3 months for the students and the teacher to learn how to use them and not “abuse” them as you mention in your video. They had no idea about digital citizenship or how to operate as a team with the technology let alone with other students “outside their own walls”. The learning continues.

    Anyway, thank you for starting the conversation and let’s go from here…


  5. Kent Manning says:


    I was in the audience back in May 2008 when you gave the Keynote at the Laptop Showcase in the Eastern Townships of Quebec [nice shoes btw :-] I’d/We’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the 21st Century Learning discussion and your impressions of the RSA framework.



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