Looking over the Partnership for 21st Century skills website, I was surprised to see the list of members that make up this organization. It is quite impressive. Members range from prominent educational book publishing companies like Pearson, to giant international software companies such as Microsoft. The website is easy to navigate, and has a wealth of resources. Many of the resources such as Standard and Assessment guidelines, and Information, Media and Technology guidelines created by Partnerships for 21st century skills, are downloadable and free, which is definitely a plus. Another nice feature to the website is that it also is linked to current articles and press releases regarding education.
Overall this website is a great resource for educators and administrators to use as a tool to get organized and started on integrating 21st century skills in the classroom. The Partnership for 21st century skills "has developed a unified, collective vision for 21st century learning that will strengthen American education." ("The Partnership for." 2004)
I did notice when reviewing the standards and assessments on the website that they seemed to be very generic, with not much detail provided. If I was a school district wanting to follow the suggested pathways given on the website, as represented by an "arched framework" outline, to integrate 21st century skills, I would expect to have clear and concise information in this area, ready to be implemented instead of having to take additionaly time to recreate or align to standards from other sources.
The implications of converting the classrooms of today to ones that the Partnership for 21st Century Skills is advocating for will be positive for both students and educators. Student learning will be focused on learning "foundational skills", (Laureate Education Inc. 2008) which is essential for them to"not only survive, but thrive" (Laureate Education Inc. 2008) in the ever changing workplace of the future. Teachers will have a learning curve to overcome in learning new technological skills and aligning the new 21st century skills to standards. Time and professional development opportunities will be required by school districts, and the tradeoff will be that teachers will become better digital citizens and gain greater confidence in using digital tools.
Ultimately, we are all responsible for ensuring the "success of our students, not only in school and work, but in life." ("The Partnership for." 2004) By ensuring that teachers get what they need, such as equipment, training, and time; in return our students will get what they need, the skills for professional and personal success. Education is always one of the first areas to recieve budget cuts, but it should be the last. Is education worth the expense?. Let me ask you this, as you age, what skills would you like your doctor to have, how skillful would you like your lawyer to be? The students of today are going to be the future citizens of tomorrow. Lets invest in our future.
(2004) The Partnership for 21st Century Skills. Retrieved from http://www.21stcenturyskills.org/
Thornburg, D., & Davidson, H. Skills for the 21st Century (Luareate Education, Inc. 2008)