Skills for 21st century learners

After reading Mari’s post, and David’s advice about ‘Making connections with ideas and knowledge not people’ in Tracey’s post, it caused me to revisit the topic of 21st century skills for today’s learners which I plan to include in my reflections on how NGL can inform my role as a teacher in a support role.

In Jackie Gerstein’s blog User Generated Education she posts about ‘The other 21st century skills’ and adds some additional skills and attributes she believes would serve the learners (of all ages) in this era of learning. She provides links to resources for educators under each of these topics. I perceive that many of us have been challenged to develop our ‘grit and resilience’ in this NGL course and to alter our views and approaches about our online interactions. Hopefully these experiences will help our future interactions in the networked space.



Jackie Gerstein: Skills & attributes of today’s learners (Creative Commons)

She favors the skills identified by Tony Wagner:

  • Critical thinking and problem-solving
  • Collaboration across networks and leading by influence
  • Agility and adaptability
  • Initiative and entrepreneurialism
  • Effective oral and written communication
  • Accessing and analyzing information
  • Curiosity and imagination

She then lists the following additional skills, which she has gleaned from blogs, social networks and conferences. She suggests that students can develop psychological resources that promote grit, tenacity and perseverance.
How to Foster Grit, Tenacity and Perseverance: An Educator’s Guide

Grit: the perseverance to continue on one’s journey and working strenuously towards challenges.
Resilience: the ability to bounce back in the face of set-backs, obstacles and failures.
Hope and optimism: lists five research based guidelines to help students develop hope

  • Identify and prioritize their top goals, from macro to micro
  • Breakdown the goals –especially long term ones – into steps
  • Teach students that there’s more than one way to reach a goal
  • Tell stories of success
  • Keep it light and positive.

Vision: Motivating learners to have dreams, objectives and causes to support.
Self-regulation: students need to learn to be more autonomous, flexible and critical in their thinking.
Empathy and global stewardship: to enable students to integrate other peoples’ perspectives with their own in a global community.


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2 Responses to Skills for 21st century learners

  1. Pingback: Blogging about blogging | insights

  2. Pingback: As a student, participation in NGL was useful for me | insights

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