Super Skills for the 21st Century: Integrating the 4 C’s with Online Technologies 

Catalog Description:
As our global economy expands, our need to prepare this generation for new careers becomes even more imperative. As we prepare students for this new workforce, we must complement the core content subjects—math, science, social studies, the arts—with the Four C’s of 21st Century Learning (critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity). This course is designed to help you get started with ideas on how to advance the Four C’s in your instructional practices. This course includes practical techniques to integrate the Four C’s in the classroom setting; tools for developing better proficiency in technology; and methods to ensure that students are learning in a meaningful context. This course also focuses on online technologies including G Suite for Education apps (formerly known as Google Apps for Education). By the end of the course, participants will know how to use apps to integrate the Four C’s into classroom instruction. This course includes a collaborative team project which is intended to be a culmination of your learning during the course.

Allow 5 - 7 hours per session for completion of all requirements.

Participants are expected to have regular access to computers. In addition, participants should be proficient with using email, browsing the Internet, and navigating to computer files.

Goals and Objectives:
During this course, participants will learn skills and strategies to:

  • Interpret and describe each of the Four C’s (21st century skills of critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity)
  • Understand the rationale for nurturing the Four C’s in the classroom
  • Design classroom activities to encourage the integration of the Four C’s into core lessons
  • Understand the rationale for using Web 2.0 technologies such as G Suite for Education apps to enhance students’ critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity/innovation skills
  • Teach students how to use Web 2.0 technologies such as G Suite for Education as they engage in activities that encourage them to think critically, communicate and collaborate with peers and/or global audiences, and design creative/innovative products inside and outside the classroom

Course Outline:
Orientation: (1-2 hours)
Participants will prepare for the course with an introductory reading and icebreaker activity. Participants will read tip sheets for participating in online discussions, credit information, and complete an orientation survey.

Session One: G Suite for Education (5-7 hours)
Google EDU provides free applications designed to help students and teachers communicate, collaborate, organize and manage assignments, grade and give feedback, go paperless, and much more. The apps can help you increase opportunities for critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity. In September 2016, Google changed Google Apps for Education to G Suite for Education. In this module, you will learn what G Suite for Education is, how it has changed, and how to use G Suite apps.

Session Two: Becoming a Champion of the 4 C’s of 21st Century Learning (5-7 hours)
Module Two introduces the history and contents of the Four C’s of 21st Century Learning: critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity. In 2002 the Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21) began a two-year journey to develop what became known as a “Framework for 21st Century Learning,” highlighting 18 different skills. Over the years it became clear that the framework was too long and complicated. To resolve this issue, P21 worked with stakeholders to identify which of the 21st century skills were the most important for K-12 education. There was near unanimity that four specific skills were the most important. They became known as the Four C’s.

Session Three: Elevating Critical Thinking Skills in Your Classroom (5-7 hours)
Every day, a sea of decisions stretches before us, and it’s impossible to make a perfect choice every time. But there are many ways to improve our chances — and one particularly effective technique is critical thinking. The Critical Thinking Community defines critical thinking as self-guided, self-disciplined thinking which attempts to reason at the highest level of quality in a fair-minded way. In this module, you’ll learn how to help students go deeper with their thinking whether via classroom discussions, analysis of written text, or higher-order questioning.

Session Four: Elevating Communication Skills in Your Classroom (5-7 hours)
Communication skills are essential for the successful future career of a student. In today’s competitive business world, communication skills are the most sought-after quality of an educated person. This module explains how to teach communication skills in the classroom as part of 21st century learning. The module is designed to help you prepare students for academic and life success by helping them develop their listening, speaking, writing, and digital media skills.

Session Five: Elevating Collaboration in Your Classroom (5-7 hours)
In preparing our students for college and careers, 21st century skills call on us to develop highly collaborative citizens. Working together to solve problems and complete projects deepens students' learning and builds collaborative skills. This module focuses what collaboration is and why it important for both teachers and students to collaborate more in and outside of the school setting.

Session Six: Elevating Creativity and Innovation in Your Classroom (5-7 hours)
Some people are indeed born with a creative streak. But others become equally successful innovators by making the most of their circumstances and intelligence, and believing in themselves. Creativity is present to varying degrees in virtually everyone. Originality and ingenuity draw on ordinary abilities, such as noticing, remembering, seeing, speaking, hearing, and recognizing analogies. In this module, you’ll learn how everyone can boost his or her own creativity.

Final Project:
Each participant will be assigned to a team for the purpose of completing a collaborative project. Team members are required to work together to complete the project. The team project is intended to be a culmination of participants’ learning during the course. All team members will need to decide together what their team will do, what tools and resources they will use, the division of responsibilities, the process, the design, and the conclusions of their work for the team project. Each team member is required to submit a summary of the project.


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