Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Partnership for 21st Century Skills

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This week I have been looking at the Partnership for 21stCentury Skills website (Partnership for 21st Century Skills). Technology is becoming increasingly interwoven into our daily lives, and this website serves as an excellent website resource. This website user friendly and bridges the world of education to the world of technology seamlessly. The site is inclusive of all subjects, not just the “core subjects”.

I agree with most of the theories presented on this website. However, I believe that it is somewhat unrealistic. The Partnership suggests that teachers participate in more professional development on 21 century skills. In Pennsylvania, professional development credit hours have been suspended- there are no funds for schools to host development speakers. Under this model, teachers are expected to incorporate the 21st century skills into the curriculum. Budgets are being slashed year after year. How can teachers be expected to keep up with technology when the technology provided by the school is outdated? How can life/career skills be taught when vetch programs are being cut? If money was no object, this framework would  surely help boost the 21st century skill. I would like to see some more real life scenarios on this site.

One area I found useful was the skills map for the arts (Partnership for 21st Century Skills). I am always looking for new ways to challenge my student’s critical thinking and citizenship. I will be putting this in my teacher’s toolkit!

Many of the 21st century skills named on this site are similar to the skills learned within the art. I have see these skills highlighted when advocating arts in schools. I believe that these “soft skills” are needed to propel our country’s next generation. These skills focus on teaching students how to think, not what to think. Teachers will be responsible for fostering the thirst for knowledge as opposed to having students memorize facts and dates.

Have you ever see this site? What are your thoughts?


Partnership for 21st Century Skills. (n.d.). A report and mile guide for 21st century skills. Washington DC: Author. Retrieved from

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Artistic Process

Blogs can serve as a tool with many uses within the classroom. It is up to the teacher to incorporate blogs into his/her classroom in a meaningful way. English teachers might use blogs as a way to provide students with formal writing practice (Richardson, 2010, pg. 29). Social Studies teachers might link up with other classes from other parts of the word to discuss government, or culture (Richardson, 2010, pg. 27).  

In my art classroom one way I could use blogs is to connect teachers, parents, and students. As students are working on an art project, they can post updates on their artistic process. They can reflect or ask for suggestions from their teacher, peers or the world, to improve their artwork. Other students can join in to critique the art, or see how other classes are approaching the same lesson. This would connect students in an artistic community. Parents can also have access to the blog. At the high school level, it is a rare occurrence that artwork actually makes it home. I will find missing pieces of work around the school; sometimes teens can be forgetful. By posting artwork online I can provide a platform for me to respond to students work, for students to grow as artists, and for parents to see the artistic process/artwork.

Have you ever used blogging as a way to show/tell?

Richardson, W. (2010). Blogs, wikis, podcasts, and other powerful web tools for  classrooms (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.