Over time, the globe has transformed into an interconnected ecosystem typified by globalization, considerable economic necessity, and low civic engagement. To this end, students should develop the required skills and knowledge to succeed in this dynamic environment. The progressions towards the modernized 21st-century skills have to outline its wit, objective, and competencies. Scholars like Tony Wager proposed that the survival skills should encompass collaboration and leadership, curiosity and imagination, effective communication, appraising information, entrepreneurialism, adaptability, and problem-solving. Irrespective of the involved aptitudes and the terms used to define them, it is evident that education parameters should encompass intricate technological developments to empower the student populace. A comprehensive analysis of the required 21st-century skills illuminates the prerequisite for education progression to deliver qualified students who survive and succeed in this transition yet globalized environment.
The Current Problem in the Education Sphere
Teachers still rely on the outdated transmission model, where instructors use textbooks and lecture notes to relay information or knowledge. Throughout the world, jurisdictions continue to use this dominant model to transmit factual evidence or gen. Although the learners acquire the detailed information therein, they hardly practice or apply it in diverse contexts. Students do not decipher the learned materials to harness their communication abilities, problem-solving techniques, or bolster their ingenuity. Saavedra and Opfer infer that transmission is an ineffective model to instill the required 21st-century skills. Since learners are not receiving explicit instructions within and without the classroom setup, they lack the competencies. The current learning curricula do not appraise the factual retention rate among students, thereby predisposing learners to untold misery in their careers. Therefore, educational stakeholders should envisage technological integration in the classroom setup to transfer unique competencies in different contexts compared to their peers.
Frameworks for Technological Integration
Indubitably, technological integration by teachers could play a critical role in resolving most of the aforementioned challenges. Kotrlik, Redmann, & Douglas conducted in-depth research to determine the feasibility of assimilating computer-based solutions in the learning process in secondary agriscience education programs. The scholars used the Kotrik – Redmann Technology Integration Model, which comprises four distinct and autonomous phases of exploration, experimentation, adoption, and advanced integration. Kotrlik, Redmann, & Douglas inferred that agriscience teachers were most active during the exploration and adoption of technology while demotivated during the experimentation and advanced integration phases.
Technology Integration in Public Schools
Amid the challenges, learning scientists have unraveled nine critical lessons to transfer the required 21st-century competencies. The scholars focus on the role of pedagogy to address the highlighted needs. Importantly, they contend that teamwork, creativity, metacognition, and technology encompass critical skills and capabilities.
Make it Relevant
Firstly, education stakeholders must revolutionize the curriculum to make it relevant to the learners’ lives. According to Saavedra & Opfer, teachers should focus on generative topics to explain their significance and role in the students’ purview. For example, students need to comprehend the interaction of statistics with real-life mathematical computations.
Teach them Through Disciplines
Learning should occur within disciplines, such as foreign and native idioms, arts, social sciences, and mathematics. Importantly, students should understand that capacity and intelligence are commensurate with one’s effort, and failures or mistakes offer one an opportunity to self-inquiry instead of indicating his or her value.
Develop Thinking Skills
Students require lower and higher-order thinking capabilities. While the current curricula specialize in lower-order exercises, it hardly deals with higher-order thinking activities. Since students require a tradeoff of breadth for depth to acquire the higher-order thinking skills, tutors should organize learners in teams and pose thought-provoking questions to stimulate the desired outcome.
Encourage Learning Transfer
Learners should strive to apply the acquired knowledge in other contexts. Since the archaic transmission model did not prepare students to transfer the acquired knowledge, it is imperative to cultivate this aspect. For example, apprentices should transmit the ability to work together or understand the cause-effect relationship. Since transfer is the fundamental rationale for instilling 21st-century capabilities, all stakeholders should unite to assist learners in transferring their abilities to the global, civic, and economic contexts.
Teach Students How to Learn
Since learners can only learn so much through formal schooling, learners should teach the pupils how to garner knowledge and skills independently. Learning to learn is a critical skill that bolsters the development of metacognition and assists students in acquiring capabilities and information effectively.
Address Misunderstandings Directly
Undoubtedly, students hold a myriad of misconceptions and misunderstandings regarding the functionality of the world. Teachers should help learners construct new comprehensions and tactile experiences regarding the dynamism of the universe.
Treat Teamwork Like and Outcome
Teamwork is a critical 21st-century skill, which bolsters optimal learning. Teachers should develop intentional instructions to foster team spirit, such as debates, discussions in pairs, and studio formats to address various issues. Since the significance of a given subject is clearer when learners understand its role globally, tutors should illuminate the relevance of teamwork in the globalized setup.
Exploit Technology to Support Learning
Undoubtedly, technology is the backbone of most 21st century skills and competencies. Primarily, this imperative bestows the potential to revolutionize problem-solving techniques, critical thinking, and communication modules. Since technology can help students transfer their skills to different settings, transform their perspectives, and address underlying misconceptions, tutors should bolster the infiltration of this solution in academia. Digitalization of education comes with its drawbacks — professors imply that students in college and other academic institutions have too much free time because of technological advancement. As a result, students get more essays and other assignments to deal with. In such situations, professional writing services, such as Smart Writing Service, come in handy. No matter what kind of paper you need to deal with, expert writers will help you fast. Such services are rather cheap and quality at the same time, providing a custom approach — much better than looking for free samples online.
In the 21st century, creativity is a coveted ability in global, civic, and economic frontiers. Primarily, ingenuity sparks innovation, which creates employment opportunities, resolves existing intricacies, and stimulates individual and social advancement. The educational curricula should develop structures and cultivate intentionality to bolster creativeness among learners through the taught disciplines.
Barriers to Technology Integration in Schools
Although technological integration could play a focal role in resolving critical challenges facing the education frontier, the proposition encounters various barriers. Foremost, most learning institutions do not have adequate ICT infrastructure to support the implementation. Importantly, schools lack software, hardware, and Internet connectivity, thereby inhibiting the integration of technology (“Barriers to Technology Integration”, 2020). Governments should provide financial aid to affected institutions to cater to these essential prerequisites. Secondly, teachers lack adequate knowledge and skills in this complex frontier. Since most educators did not receive insufficient technological training and empowerment, they consider some elements overwhelming or frightening. For example, instructors might not use any technology-based concept in the classroom setting if they have not mastered it before. Schools should organize routine training programs to demystify this barrier and foster the success of the integration endeavor. Finally, most schools focus on assessing learned instructional methods, thus leaving teachers with little or no time to use technology. Since the integration process is time-intensive, most schools might shelve it for future use. Educational stakeholders should lobby for technological integration and request legislators to envisage permissive regulations, which bolster the uptake of these futuristic imperative.
Learners should acquire critical communication, collaboration, and problem-solving competencies to survive in this ever-changing society. In the modernized corporate environment, employers demand more people with sophisticated communication and thinking patterns and fewer workers with elementary skill sets. This premise implies that rote teaching about the government and its functionalities symbolized by low levels of civic engagement does not instill the required life lessons. Therefore, educationists should popularize technological integration by teachers across all learning institutions to transform the tutoring process and bolsters the success of students in an overly dynamic and sophisticated global environment.
Alston, J. A., Miller, W. W., & Williams, L. D. (2003, November 2). The future role of instructional technology in agricultural education in North Carolina and Virginia. Journal of Agricultural Education, 44(2), 38-49. Doi:10.5032/jae.2003.02038
Barriers to technology integration. (2020, May 7). Storyboard. Retrieved from https://www.storyboardthat.com/storyboards/1c3efeaa/barriers-to-technology-integration
Kotrlik, W. J., Redmann, H. D., & Douglas, B. B. (2003, November 3). Technology integration by agriscience teachers in the teaching/learning process. Journal of Agriculture Education, 44(3), 78-90. Doi:10.5032/jae.2003.03078
Mueller, J., Wood, E., Willoughby, T., Ross, C., & Specht, J. (2008). Identifying discriminating variables between teachers who fully integrate computers and teachers with limited integration. Computer & Education, 51, 1523-1537.
Saavedra, R. A., & Opfer, D. V. (2012, October). Learning 21st-century skills requires 21st – century teaching. New Style of Instruction, 8-13.