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ICT IN EDUCATION
Learning the digital age
Developing critical creative and
As teachers, we believe that every child deserves an
education that prepares them for life. This education
should be built on a foundation of technological skills
that will secure our students throughout their lives.
there are four crucial areas that must be learned and
practiced by our children if they are to tackle the
rigorous school work that the new Common Core
It is through these 21st century skills that our
young adults will find the power to be globally
competitive in a worldwide workforce and find
the ability to face career challenges in an ever-
changing world of technology.
These fundamental skills are gained
through experience, and they include
The 4 C’s
Learning and Innovation Skills
Learning and innovation skills are being
recognized as the skills that separate
students who are prepared for complex life
and work environments in the 21st century.
A focus on collaboration, communication,
creativity and critical thinking is essential to
prepare students for the future.
What is Collaboration?
Collaboration occurs when two or more
people work together to accomplish a
shared, common goal-teaming up to meet
that defined goal.
Collaboration, literally, consists of
working together with one or more
To build good team collaboration
skills, students must learn to:
• Work effectively with different groups of people,
including people from diverse cultures.
• Be flexible and willing to compromise with team
members to reach a common goal.
• Demonstrate responsibility as a team member
working toward a shared goal.
COMMON COLLABORATIVE ABILITIES
Allocating resources and responsibilities ensures
that all members of a team can work optimally.
Brainstorming ideas in a group involves rapidly
suggesting and writing down ideas without
pausing to critique them.
Decision-making requires sorting through the
many options provided to the group and arriving at
a single option to move forward.
Delegating means assigning duties to members of
the group and expecting them to fulfill their parts
of the task.
Evaluating the products, processes, and
members of the group provides a clear sense of
what is working well and what improvements
could be made.
Goal setting requires the group to analyze the
situation, decide what outcome is desired, and
clearly state an achievable objective.
Leading a group means creating an
environment in which all members can
contribute according to their abilities.
Managing time involves matching up a list of tasks
to a schedule and tracking the progress toward
Resolving conflicts occurs from using one of the
following strategies: asserting, cooperating,
compromising, competing, or deferring.
Team building means cooperatively working
overtime to achieve a common goal.
Expressing thoughts clearly, crisply articulating
opinions, communicating instructions, motivating
others through powerful speech…these skills
have always been valued in the workplace and in
public life. But in the 21st century, these skills
have been transformed and are even more
Communication cannot be effective unless the
message is received and understood.
Students communicate daily by texting and
posting on Facebook pages and other social
media avenues to stay in touch with friends.
Teachers can help students make the
connections between their recreational writing
and the kinds of writing they need to become
successful beyond the classroom. It’s
important to stay aware of the digital world
students live in as we design learning
experiences to cultivate important skills.
COMMON COMMUNICATION ABILITIES:
Analyzing the situation means thinking about the
subject, purpose, sender, receiver, medium, and
context of a message.
Choosing a medium involves deciding the most
appropriate way to deliver a message, ranging
from a face-to-face chat to a 400-page report.
Evaluating messages means deciding whether
they are correct, complete, reliable, authoritative,
Following conventions means communicating
using the expected norms for the medium chosen.
Listening actively requires carefully paying
attention, taking notes, asking questions, and
otherwise engaging in the ideas being
Reading is decoding written words and images in
order to understand what their originator is trying to
Speaking involves using spoken words, tone of
voice, body language, gestures, facial expressions,
and visual aids in order to convey ideas.
Turn taking means effectively switching from
receiving ideas to providing ideas, back and forth
between those in the communication situation.
Using technology requires understanding the
abilities and limitations of any technological
communication, from phone calls to e-mails to
Writing involves encoding messages into words,
sentences, and paragraphs for the purpose of
communicating to a person who is removed by
distance, time, or both.
Students must be able to effectively analyze and
process the overwhelming amount of communication
in their lives today.
Which information sources are accurate?
Which ones are not?
How can they be used or leveraged effectively?
The power of modern media and the ubiquity of
communication technologies in all aspects of life
make teaching strong communication skills even
To build effective Communication Skills
students must learn to:
*Communicate using digital media and
environments to support personal and group
*Share information efficiently and effectively using
appropriate digital media and environments.
*Communicate thoughts and ideas clearly and
effectively to different audiences using various
media and formats.
These skills are at the core of every
organization. It is crucial that we as teachers
help students build this vital set of 21st century
Effective communication skills are important in
many walks of life. Today’s employers look for
individuals with effective communication skills in
reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills.
After graduation students will realize that these
basic communication skills are essential in
attaining their life’s goals. It is imperative that
tomorrow’s graduates communicate clearly and
effectively in a variety of languages.
What Is Creativity?
Creativity is the bringing into being of
something which did not exist before, either
as a product, a process or a thought.
Creativity is the ability to produce new,
diverse and unique ideas. Thinking creatively
means looking at things from a different
perspective and not be restricted by rules,
customs, or norms.
main creative abilities
Brainstorming ideas involves asking a question and
rapidly listing all answers, even those that are far-
fetched, impractical, or impossible.
Creating something requires forming it by
combining materials, perhaps according to a plan
or perhaps based on the impulse of the moment.
Designing something means finding the
conjunction between form and function and
shaping materials for a specific purpose.
Entertaining others involves telling stories, making
jokes, singing songs, playing games, acting out
parts, and making conversation.
Imagining ideas involves reaching into the
unknown and impossible, perhaps idly or with
great focus, as Einstein did with his thought
Improvising a solution involves using something in
a novel way to solve a problem.
Innovating is creating something that hasn’t
existed before, whether an object, a procedure, or
Overturning something means flipping it to get a
new perspective, perhaps by redefining givens,
reversing cause and effect, or looking at
something in a brand new way.
Problem solving requires using many of the
creative abilities listed here to figure out possible
solutions and putting one or more of them into
Questioning actively reaches into what is
unknown to make it known, seeking information
or a new way to do something
Critical thinking is focused, careful
analysis of something to better
understand it. When people speak of
“left brain” activity, they are usually
referring to critical thinking.
What is Critical Thinking?
Critical thinking is investigating issues
that are not always clearly defined and
have no clear-cut answers by asking
significant questions and exploring
different solutions. Critical thinking helps
evaluate ideas and add value to them by
identifying the most reasonable ones or
ones most likely to succeed.
common critical thinking abilities:
Critical thinking is focused, careful analysis of
something to better understand it. When people
speak of “left brain” activity, they are usually
referring to critical thinking. Here are some of the
main critical-thinking abilities:
Analyzing is breaking something down into its
parts, examining each part, and noting how the
parts fit together.
Arguing is using a series of statements connected
logically together, backed by evidence, to reach a
Classifying is identifying the types or groups of
something, showing how each category is
distinct from the others.
Comparing and contrasting is pointing out the
similarities and differences between two or more
Defining is explaining the meaning of a term
using denotation, connotation, example,
etymology, synonyms, and antonyms.
Describing is explaining the traits of something,
such as size, shape, weight, color, use, origin,
value, condition, location, and so on.
Evaluating is deciding on the worth of something
by comparing it against an accepted standard of
Explaining is telling what something is or how it
works so that others can understand it.
Problem solving is analyzing the causes and
effects of a problem and finding a way to stop the
causes or the effects.
Tracking cause and effect is determining why
something is happening and what results from it.
Critical thinking involves logical thinking and
reasoning including skills such as comparison,
classification, sequencing, cause/effect,
patterning, webbing, analogies, deductive and
inductive reasoning, forecasting, planning,
hypothesizing, and critiquing.
Teaching critical thinking and problem
solving effectively in the classroom is vital
for students. Learning critical thinking
leads students to develop other skills,
such as a higher level of concentration,
deeper analytical abilities, and improved
Critical thinking is quite compatible with
thinking "out-of-the-box", challenging
consensus and pursuing less popular
approaches. If anything, critical thinking is
an essential part of creativity because we
need critical thinking to evaluate and
improve our creative ideas.
Today’s citizens must be active critical
thinkers if they are to compare evidence,
evaluate competing claims, and make
sensible decisions. In everyday work,
employees must employ critical thinking
to better serve customers, develop better
products, and continuously improve
themselves within an ever-changing
The teaching of collaboration, communication,
creativity, and critical thinking are not new concepts
for educators. In fact, they are the basis of great
teaching, and most teachers aspire to teach in a
manner that incorporates these strategies.
It is clear that the “Four C’s” need to be fully
integrated into classrooms, schools, and districts
around the country to produce citizens and
employees adequately prepared for the 21st century.