Route 21 and the Partnership for 21st Century Skills

[cross-posted at the TechLearning blog]


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At the SETDA Leadership Summit and Education Forum, we've been talking a lot about 21st century skills, so I thought it might be helpful to highlight some of the work that the Partnership for 21st Century Skills has been doing.

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The Partnership has been quite busy lately. In October, it announced new poll results that showed that a significant majority of voters 'are deeply concerned that the United States is not preparing young people with the skills they need to compete in the global economy.' Here's an excerpt from the full report:

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As I noted on my blog earlier this week, on Monday the Partnership, SETDA, and ISTE released a paper on maximizing the impact of digital technologies for 21st century learning. The document contains examples of successful programs that can be used as models, guiding questions for stakeholders, and action principles for moving forward. Plus there's also this great (if depressing) quote:

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No industry or organization can remain competitive today without making comprehensive use of technology as a matter of course in all of its operations. . . . [E]ducation is the least technology-intensive enterprise in a ranking of technology use among 55 U.S. industry sectors, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

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Today the Partnership released a new resource, Route 21:

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[Route 21] represents the first comprehensive, go-to online resource for high-quality content, best practices, relevant reports, articles and research to assist practitioners in implementing 21st century teaching practices and learning outcomes. Route 21 harnesses Web 2.0 features to allow users to tag, rank, organize, collect and share Route 21 content based on their personal interests. Individuals will continuously update the site with relevant examples as well as share their reactions and insights on implementing 21st century skills in their state, district or school.

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You can read the press release, watch the 10–minute video, or dive right into the resources and tagging tools:

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Also, for those of you who didn't know, the Partnership recently updated its famous rainbow framework in order to better highlight essential supporting conditions:

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[read more about the framework]

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In addition to the resources already described, the Partnership has a number of useful reports, issue briefs, and literacy maps, the latter of which are intended to give some examples of 21st century literacies in practice. Many of the Partnership's presentations are available online, as are some nifty tools for educators and policymakers.

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In short, the Partnership is working hard to help us move our nation's schools forward. There are numerous helpful resources on the Partnership's main site and in Route 21. I encourage you to check out what the Partnership has to offer.

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Upvote/downvote each of the videos below!

As you vote, keep in mind that we are looking for a winner with the most engaging social venture pitch - an idea you would want to invest in.

Lumina Foundation and Big Think have partnered to bring this entrepreneurial competition to life, and we hope you'll participate! We have narrowed down the competition to four finalists and will be announcing an audience's choice award and a judges' choice award in May.

The creator of the winning video — chosen by Big Think's audience, the Lumina Foundation, and an independent panel of experts (bios below) — will be flown to New York for a taping in the Big Think studio as a way to further promote their vision for a new, disruptive idea in post-secondary education.

Thank you to all of the contestants who spent time submitting applications, and best of luck to our final four competitors.

Finalist: Greater Commons - Todd McLeod

Greater Commons, founded by Todd McLeod and Andrew Cull, is an organization that helps people live happier, more successful and fulfilling lives through agile learning. The current education system is inefficient and exclusionary, in which many students who end up earning a degree, if at all, enter a career not related to their field of study. Greater Commons solves this problem and gap in post-high school secondary education in a variety of ways. Passionately and diligently, Great Commons helps others obtain skills, knowledge, wisdom, motivation, and inspiration so that they may live better lives.

Finalist: PeerFoward - Keith Frome

PeerForward is an organization dedicated to increasing the education and career success rates of students in low-income schools and communities by mobilizing the power of positive peer influence. PeerForward works with partner schools to select influential students as a part of a team, systemizing the "peer effect." Research in the fields of sociology of schools, social-emotional learning, adult-youth partnerships, and civic education demonstrates that students can have a positive effect on the academic outcomes of their peers. PeerForward is unique through its systemic solutions to post-secondary education.

Finalist: Cogniss - Leon Young

Cogniss combines technology and best practice knowledge to enable anyone to innovate and share solutions that advance lifelong learning. Cogniss is the only platform to integrate neuroscience, through which it solves the problem of access by providing a low-code platform that enables both developers and non-developers to build sophisticated education apps fast, and at a much lower cost. It addresses the uneven quality of edtech solutions by embedding research-based learning design into its software. App creators can choose from a rich set of artificial intelligence, game, social and data analytics, and gamification to build their perfect customized solution.

Finalist: Practera - Nikki James

Practera's mission is to create a world where everyone can learn through experience. Today's workplaces are increasingly dynamic and diverse, however, costly and time-consuming experiential learning is not always able to offer the right opportunities at scale. Many students graduate without developing the essential skills for their chosen career. Practera's team of educators and technologists see this problem as an opportunity to transform the educational experience landscape, through a CPL pedagogical framework and opportunities to apply students' strengths through active feedback.

Thank you to our judges!

Our expert judges are Lorna Davis, Dan Rosensweig, and Stuart Yasgur.

Lorna Davis is the Senior Advisor to Danone CEO and is a Global Ambassador for the B Corp movement. Lorna has now joined B-Lab, the non-for-profit that supports the B Corporation movement on an assignment to support the journey of large multi nationals on the path to using business as a force of good.

Dan Rosensweig joined Chegg in 2010 with a vision for transforming the popular textbook rental service into a leading provider of digital learning services for high school and college students. As Chairman and CEO of Chegg, Dan commits the company to fulfilling its mission of putting students first and helping them save time, save money and get smarter.

Stuart Yasgur leads Ashoka's Social Financial Services globally. At Ashoka, Stuart works with others to initiate efforts that have mobilized more than $500 million in funding for social entrepreneurs, engaged the G20 through the Toronto, Seoul and Los Cabos summits and helped form partnerships with leading financial institutions and corporations.

Again, thank you to our incredible expert judges.

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