What skills do I need to know to design 21st century learning tasks?

“If we teach today as if we taught yesterday, we would rob our children of tomorrow” – John Dewey

Lots of content has been written about the different learner needs faced by teachers and their instructional design.  Many of these articles have focused on the 21 century literacies ( skills and attitudes students need to be fluent with to be an active part of contemporary society.)   What types of technology can be leveraged for instructional design; that supports and promotes student literacies for the future? In this exceptionally useful post from Educational Technology and Mobile Learning 21 century teacher digital skills are outlined; with correlated web tools to help get teachers started. But task design doesn’t stop there. The design shift of instructional tasks that focus on students consuming media to active producers of media has been at the forefront of educational redesign. The fundamental assertion is that to adequately prepare students for life out of school, they need the skills of  remaking, creating and producing content. Harnessing and providing learning space that promotes creativity, engagement and social life are common threads to this paradigm shift. So what skills do teachers need to know to design tasks that meet the needs of the learners today? And more importantly, Why should we use educational technology? As teachers learn to shift their practice to face this brave new world, let’s continue to focus on the ‘why’ we use it; as we are indeed  in the midst of  re-shaping educational design.

This classic ted-talk from Adora Svitak, my prediction is that those teachers that have a willingness to learn as much from their students as their students learn from them, will be leading they way! As Adora Svitak asserts, it is the capacity for imagination that “pushes the boundaries of possibilities”.


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