It’s no secret that students today require a different set of skills than they did several years ago. The internet, social media, and the global economy have changed the landscape of education and the job market, requiring students to not only draw academic knowledge from their time in the classroom, but practical life and career skills as well.
The Partnership for 21st Century Skills is a national organization in the US that advocates for students to develop stronger skills made practical by 21st century life.
Their mission is to “serve as a catalyst to position 21st century readiness at the center of US K12 education by building collaborative partnerships among education, business, community and government leaders.” Their goal is to provide every child in the United States with applicable “knowledge and skills to succeed as effective citizens, workers, and leaders.”
What sort of change does accomplishing these goals require? At its core, the Partnership for 21st Century Skills calls for higher levels of awareness to be woven into core subjects already taught. These include relevant themes, such as:
- Global awareness
- Financial, economic, business, and entrepreneurial literacy
- Civic literacy
- Health literacy
- Environmental literacy
Students today also need information and media skills, as well as technological know-how to navigate today’s internet and information rich workplaces.
Life skills, such as flexibility, critical thinking, self-direction, social skills, cultural skills, productivity, responsibility and leadership also help to create stronger, more prepared leaders.
Readiness, according to the Partnership’s guidelines, must be assessed carefully. “To be effective, sustainable and affordable, assessments must use modern technologies to increase efficiency and timeliness.” The partnership also advocates for a balance of measurements that does not simply include high-quality standardized testing, but also classroom assessments to evaluate students on a more practical level.
“A profound gap exists between the knowledge and skills most students learn in school and the skills they need for success in their communities and workplaces,” claims p21.org, calling for schools to “align classroom environments with real world environments,” by fusing together core academic disciplines with critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity.
Since its inception, You Can Learn, Inc. has held very similar values, calling for a paradigm shift in education today. For today’s students to be successful in a rapidly changing society, education must be dynamic, efficient, and challenging. Technology allows for students and educators to have greater power and control over educational systems, thus providing opportunities for personalization and customization according to students’ needs.
At You Can Learn, Inc., we intend to provide educational applications to prepare today’s students for tomorrow’s career, life, and leadership challenges.