I have been heard to say that you can’t throw a rock into the blogosphere these days without hitting a post or article on the 21st Century “something-or-other”.
Love it or hate it – the notion of 21st Century Skills is one of those HOT topics these days – especially in Turkey. Sadly, however, the discussions on EDtech here seem to be dominated by some very strange creatures…you know them as:
The real problem is:
IDIOTS that are breeding like bloody rabbits…on steroids!
IDIOTS that (still) do not link the 21C concept to real LEARNing – choosing instead to focus on what seems to be both the engine and the fuel of the 21st Century…..
Don’t get me wrong…I’m not some kind of EDtech luddite who wants to put a stop to the so-called tablet and akıllı tahta dönemi we are currently witnessing in Turkey.
Turkey is my adopted home, I am a “milli enişte” and I am amazingly proud that I helped co-create one of Turkey’s first “digital natives” (and also one of the toughest and most beautiful, too – ask me about the “Türk kızı” who took down men twice her size on the Turkish TV version of “Wipe-Out”).
I am a “daddy”, too!
A very proud one….
But, my business is LEARNing (as if you didn’t know) – not TECHnology. And, I’m interested in how we actually “do” something with all the talk-we-are-talking these days – talk about the new kids on the curriculum block:
- INDEPENDENT, CRITICAL and CREATIVE THINKING
- PROBLEM-SOLVING and CREATIVITY
- COMMUNICATION, COLLABORATION and SHARING
- COGNITIVE and EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE
- ETHICS, ACTION and ACCOUNTABILITY
- LEADERSHIP, AGILITY and ENTREPRENEURIALISM
- CURIOSITY, EXPERIMENTATION and RISK-TAKING
- SELF-DISCIPLINE, RIGOUR and REFLECTION
We know here in Turkey (not that different to the rest of the world…really) that we still have major challenges with:
- ORAL and WRITTEN COMMUNICATION (the 3R’s in TURKISH) – of course!
- ENGLISH LANGUAGE (the 3R’s in ELL)
But, the TECH (and the so-called “new digital landscape”) still gets many more column inches and pixels than student LEARNing.
Our raging debate, a debate that others in the US and Europe have picked up, centres on Turkey’s plans to purchase 15,000,000 tablets over the next few years (as part of the Fatih Project) – and has international and domestic commentators really talking:
Actually, I’m not sure if we should be talking about the tablets (the PM was today…again and again and again) – we should be discussing the skills the tablets are supposed to be ushering into Turkish schools.
…and, the impact of these skills on TEACHers.
In an earlier post, I discussed how these 21st Century realities are creating a new set of roles for TEACHers:
However, discussion on how these roles translate into a new evolving set of teacher skills, literacies and fluencies has been (very) limited – especially, in Turkey.
Isn’t it time we started to ask some REAL questions:
- What skills do TEACHers (in Turkey) need as we continue our march into the 21st Century?
- How many of these skills actually relate to how we deploy and use TECHNOLOGY?
- How many of them relate to effective LEARNing and TEACHing?
- What do TEACHers actually think themselves – and what do their LEARNers think?
- How effectively is TEACHer (and LEARNer) LEARNing being promoted and supported (in Turkey)?
- What else needs to change to make the 21st Century “wishlist” a reality?
Hey, maybe we can even start asking some of the most basic questions.
I’d love to see some fresh ideas and comments.
If not (and you are a lover of “bedtime reading”) – here’s a little list of some resources on allthings21Cskills: