My reaction to this phenomenal site? As I read, react is exactly what I do.
After reading about “new literacies” and the “gap,” a site like The Parthnership for 21st Century Skills offers a slight sigh of relief. At least someone (people) out there is (are) aware and already working. (Listen, I am late at the 21st Century Skills game, but I still care.)
Surprises to the site? The surprise is that folks from all walks: education, business, and government are contributing and caring together. George Lucas? Karl Fisch? The NEA, NCTE, PBS, Pearson, Scholastic, Sesame, Ford, Gale, and LEGO? Let me reiterate, LEGO and Sesame? Realizing the extent of support for a new era is energizing. Realizing my needed and necessary part in the change is slightly scary. Watching Ken Kay (President, Partnership) makes me aware of the fact that I must do my part on a personal level and on a more stressful level (time is scarce and so is sanity it seems when teaching is infused with learning) I need to advocate for change soon.
Disagree with the site? In the profuseness of 21st century skills information I could not find a way to subscribe via RSS. Yet my limited technological skills cause me wonder if the problem is not a lack of expertise on my part. And if that is all I can find asunder, I feel sure my knowledge of the subject is insufficient to make a judgement. I am entrigued and enthralled, and a little overwhelmed when I view the site, so “skills” saturation is my only disagreement.
Implications for my students and myself? The implications are parallel to the information on the Skills site. Phenomenal. “My” students, unfortunately, may not benefit, but America’s students will. And given the mass effort of its contributors, my urgency to act on a personal level has definitely increased.
A final comment. As a seemingly progressive state in many aspects, Maryland lets me down by not advocating or even apparently understanding the need for change in education. I am appalled that the push to mandate better results in testing, dropout, and graduation scores/rates only manages to create a wider gap between skills needed, and skills force fed. (I truly can make that sentence parallel with “skills received.”)
At fifty years old, I realize that change is difficult. But as a community, a very large, very proud and free community, let’s strive to get over the need for 500 year old technology (Miners & Pascopella, 2007) and “our mother’s education” and recapture the need to work hard together as a community, a country. Our future depends on it.