Friday, February 4, 2011

21st Century Learning and Project Based Learning

Ken Kay, past President of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, has been elected to the board of Buck Institute for Education. Ken has a very interesting blog post about 21st century education and Project Based Learning. He summarizes his perspectives succinctly as follows:

  • "21st century education and the 4Cs [critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity] are the most powerful ways to move a dialogue forward to create a consensus vision around the future of education in your school or district.
  • PBL is one of the most effective strategies we have today that can actually help us teach and assess the 4Cs in today’s classrooms."

At SimInsights, we are developing collaborative simulation software that support exciting real world projects. See a simulation-based bridge design project done at Pomona College, for example. Though this project took several weeks of work by a five high school seniors who met for four hours a week, not all projects need to be this long. In contrast, Mike Amarillas at Fremont High School in Sunnyvale, CA has had his students complete an open-ended collaborative assignment on collisions within just one hour.

We have been a long admirers of work done by Buck Institute and support its efforts to bring about meaningful change to education worldwide and are thankful to Buck Institute for helping spread the word about us.

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