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21st Century Skills


Course Description

So much emphasis is placed on content-based standards, and the high stakes testing that accompanies them, it’s sometimes easy to miss the forest for the trees. In this course, nationally-known experts address the missing pieces – the 21st century skills students will need to survive and thrive in college, in careers, and as global citizens, now and in the very near future. This course features personal interviews with change leaders in the areas that most impact 21st century education:

  • Ken Kay presents the big picture and the work of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills
  • James Bellanca compares “old school” traditions with what’s needed now
  • Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey explain how, in technology, form follows function
  • Richard DuFour describes the role of professional learning communities
  • Robin Fogarty and Brian Pete lend a global perspective
  • Bill Ferriter creates classroom environments that matter to kids
  • Will Richardson explores the role of technology

The interviewees answer the intriguing questions that are commanding international attention and highlight the activities of schools taking the lead on these issues. Their interviews are accompanied by a collection of essays that summarize their work. A panel discussion provides practical tips for integrating technology and social media into the learning environment. And we visit a high school in New Jersey where digital devices are becoming an increasingly important part of the school day, with positive results.


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Course Presenters

James Bellanca, MA

James Bellanca, MA, is founder and CEO of International Renewal Institute, Inc., and acting director of the Illinois Consortium for 21st Century Skills. He founded SkyLight Professional Development in 1982. As its president, he mentored more than twenty author-consultants as he led SkyLight in pioneering the use Course: 21st Century Skills Presenters: James Bellanca and Ken Kay Hours: 45 Required Reading: 21st Century Skills: Rethinking How Students Learn, Bellanca and Brandt, editors, Solution Tree Press, 2010. 110 William Street, Suite 2201, New York, NY 10038 | | P: 1.800.728.0032 | SYLTSCCEUST of strategic teaching in comprehensive professional development. Bellanca has coauthored more than twenty books that advocate the application of thinking and cooperating across the curriculum with the theme of “not just for the test, but for a lifetime of learning.” A longtime proponent of 21st century skills, Bellanca’s most recent publications include Designing Professional Development for Change: A Guide for Improving Classroom Instruction, Enriched Learning Projects: A Practical Pathway to 21st Century Skills, Collaboration and Cooperation in 21st Century Schools, 200+ Active Learning Strategies and Projects for Engaging Students’ Multiple Intelligences, and A Guide to Graphic Organizers: Helping Students Organize and Process Content for Deeper Learning.


Ken Kay, JD

Ken Kay, JD, has spent the past twenty-five years bringing together the education, business, and policy communities to improve U.S. competitiveness. He is president of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, the nation’s leading advocacy organization focused on infusing 21st century skills into education and preparing every child to succeed in the new global economy. He also serves as the CEO and cofounder of e-Luminate Group, an education consulting firm. Throughout his career, Ken has been a major voice and premier coalition builder on competitiveness issues in education and industry – particularly policies and practices that support innovation and technology leadership. An executive director of the CEO Forum on Education and Technology, he led the development of the StaR Chart (School Technology & Readiness Guide), used by schools across the country to make better use of technology in the K-12 classrooms. A lawyer and nationally recognized coalition builder, Kay has also facilitated initiatives by universities and technology leaders to advance research and development policy and by computer industry CEOs to advance U.S. trade and technology policy.

Partner Profile

Solution Tree delivers comprehensive professional development to schools and districts around the world. Solution Tree has empowered K–12 educators to raise student achievement through a wide range of services and products including educator conferences, customized district solutions for long-term professional development, books, videos, and online courses. Last year, more than 25,000 educators attended Solution Tree events on professional learning communities, RTI, assessment, and other topics.

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