In order to meet the needs of our students, teachers and administrators are constantly reflecting on their practices and how they can provide the best teaching and learning opportunities for their students.  In 2016 the way that students learn and demonstrate their knowledge should not look the same as it did ten years ago.  This is because of the rapid growth of technology as a tool for learning.  

Our students have access to information, to creation tools and to the ability to connect with others around the world.  In order to maximize their learning and to assist them in becoming lifelong learners, educators and administrators are looking to the future –  for our students to be ‘Future Ready’.

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Tony Wagner in his recent book entitled “Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World”, (p.12) describes the skills of that students will need to have as the Seven Revival Skills:

  1. Critical thinking and problem solving

  2. Collaboration across networks and leading by influence

  3. Agility and adaptability

  4. Initiative and entrepreneurship

  5. Accessing and analyzing information

  6. Effective oral and written communication

  7. Curiosity and imagination

In order to become Future Ready teachers and administrators need to be actively engaged in professional development. They need to be working hard to improve their skills at providing students with opportunities to creatively share their learning and knowledge.  It is important to remember though, that no matter what opportunities we are creating for our students:

 

Students need to be able to connect with experts outside of the school.  They must be able to share their learning and get feedback from an authentic audience using for example, class blogs and class Twitter accounts. The students need opportunities to record and reflect on their learning through screencasts, photos, voice recordings and other creations.

The students must learn how to be good digital citizens (Digital Citizenship LBPSB)and to develop their digital legacy.  If we provide them with opportunities to demonstrate their learning in different ways then they will become lifelong learners who are curious and seek answers to questions that interest them.

To do this, educators need to reflect on their current teaching practices. They need to continually develop their skills at creating teaching and learning opportunities that allow their students’ to demonstrate their learning in different and creative ways.  Lastly, but critically important, educators need to develop their skills of assessment.  When students demonstrate learning in different ways they are providing rich assessment information that must inform teachers’ decisions.

As you take on the journey of transforming your teaching and learning we invite you to attend the first Canadian Future Ready Summit.  The Summit sessions are designed to engage educators and administrators in hands-on learning opportunities that will give them strategies and ideas to begin implementing on Monday.

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Works Cited:

Wagner, Tony, and Robert A. Compton. Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World. New York: Scribner, 2012. Print.