21st Century Competency – Learning to Learn

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Learning to learn or Metacognition may be one of the greatest skill identified in the 21st Century Competency document.

Metacognitive strategies refers to methods used to help students understand the way they learn; in other words, it means processes designed for students to ‘think’ about their ‘thinking’.

As an adult learner I have found this difficult to do myself but I also know that it is crucial to being successful in school and in life. I have come to realize that I learn best when I can hear it, see it and feel it.  Auditory, visual and kinesthetic learning is what I do best.  This served me well in school and I am fortunate to be able to have three modalities of learning that tap into the main ones that teachers in schools learn to teach.

Technology can really help students tap into ways of thinking and compensate for areas that they may need help in.  The ability to play with media or various forms through technology actually play very well into this.

Most recently we have been promoting like other boards coding and robotics. These sort of tools allow student to become divergent thinkers, problem solvers and tap into learning modes beyond the visual and auditory types found in many classrooms.  Many teachers are fearful of bringing this into their classes for a few reasons.  One they did not learn this way in the past.  Second it is messy with often more than one answer to solve a problem. And third it places the control of learning in the students hands.  All three of these can require patience and teachers who have started to teacher coding and robotics need patience as both they and student struggle to learn this often very hands on type of learning.

I am certain in future blogs I will talk more about learning to learn but thought I would get the conversation rolling and invite teachers and others to talk about how we can promote this really important skill development.

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Ministry Document Foundation for GEDSB Education Technology Plan

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About a year and half ago the Education Technology Initiative was evaluated and and based on the feedback from stakeholders, teachers, students and administrators a new direction for Grand Erie Technology was set in motion.  Purposely we have moved away from large centrallized training which we heard loud and clear was not allowing teachers time to digest the information and increased anxiety about putting the learning into practice.

Now we see school based projects, demonstration classrooms, afterschool workshops (streamed and recorded), Student Crews, and Digital Lead Learners.  Together these various forms of professional development are helping teachers learn the technology tools and incorporate them seamlessly into the learning in the classroom.

The glue that holds this all together are the 6 Global Competencies that are we adopted from the draft version of the Ministry’s discussion document on 21st Century Competencies.

What this means is to our Education Technology Team is that we filter our work we do through the 6 21st Century Compentencies:

  1. Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
  2. Innovation Creation and Entrepreneurship
  3. Learning to Learn, Self Aware and Self Directed Learning
  4. Collaboration
  5. Communication
  6. Global Citizenship

I invite you to look at the Ministry Document on 21st Century Competencies and I will try to hilight these in my future posts here on Growing Excellence Inspiring Success.