To become successful, intelligent, and mindful 21st Century learners, young people need to understand and apply a small group of vocabulary words that now have expanded digital world meanings.
Parents may want to use and talk about these words in conversation as often as possible. Teachers should consciously incorporate them into the curriculum, because the vocabulary knowledge provides young learners with tools that help them consume information more effectively.
As young preadolescents and teens become more comfortable with these words and increasingly able at applying the conceptual meanings they may also gain skill at discerning and then avoiding many of the digital world problems and pitfalls that children encounter.
It’s Thanksgiving 2013, a time when we give thanks for family, friends, and the richness of our lives. It’s also a time to take stock, gain perhaps a bit more insight about the quality of life, and maybe even refrain from always wishing for more.
As a teacher, 21st Century learning advocate, and educational technology enthusiast, I spend much of the year on this blog suggesting ways that families, educators, children, and certainly, my students, can strategize, enrich, and improve their digitally connected lives and, of course, learn enough to avoid potential problems.
But today is different!
We spend so much time grumbling about all the problems that arise in our digital era. So to add some extra fun to our family’s Thanksgiving 2013 celebration, here are a few special experiences and joys that the digital world has brought into my family’s life — for which I am most grateful.
Have you been ever in a work situation where you feel especially old — as younger colleagues occasionally roll their eyes, proudly demonstrating their up-to-the-minute technology skills? Or maybe you’ve seen more experienced workers shoot down younger worker’s ideas. Lots of people in mid and late career periods, well people of all ages really, note these frustrations. It’s not all about age or technology — it’s about working together.
…and guess what?
Teams with differing ages and skills are often the most productive. While technology skills are important, collaborative skills and teamwork are more significant. In today’s fast-changing world, we are spending considerable effort teaching tech-savvy students how to work together with people who have differing perspectives and different kinds of ideas. Twenty-first Century employers are on the lookout for workers who can collaborate.
Sometimes older and more experienced team members offer points of view that add innovative problem-solving puzzle pieces to a team’s project. Younger workers can push limits and eagerly try new things. Older workers can also be skilled mentors. Skilled leadership, the ability to help people form a cohesive team, is a key to success.
Politico, a Washington weekly newspaper that meticulously covers all things political, published this nifty Twitter graphic illustrating the tweeting environment during 2012 State of the Union (SOTU) speech. The data collection begins around 9:05 and continues until 10:40 eastern time. President Obama entered the chamber around 9:05 and the Republican response ended around 10:40.
The infographic includes a huge amount of data, illustrating the times (and issues), when the frequency of #SOTU tweets went up, and other hashtag (#) topics that people included in their tweets.
Twitter’s infographic illustrates an enormous amount of social networking activity. Use it as a classroom or dinner table conversation topic. providing a glimpse into real-time civics and history.