This Web site, established by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, centers around a rainbow-shaped info-graphic that depicts four skill sets—life and career skills; learning and innovation skills; information, media, and technology skills; and core subjects and 21st-century themes—supported by four groundwork systems: standards and assessments, curriculum and instruction, professional development, and learning environments. The framework illustrates the concepts discussed in the Partnership’s 21st Century Skills white paper, which is available for downloading from the Web site. Clicking on each of the graphic’s sections brings up an in-depth explanation of the subject and links to hundreds of resources—including Web sites, lesson plans, and PDFs—that pertain to each topic. There are multiple ways to navigate this site, which makes it somewhat confusing, but perhaps most important to educational technology leaders is the Resources for 21st Century Skills tab. That tab allows the user to browse through resources by subject area.
The School 2.0 Web site, produced by the SRI International Center for Technology in Learning, hosts several useful tools for ed-tech leaders. The first is a database of resources—including Web sites, downloads, and useful links—that can be browsed by subject area or searched by keyword. An interactive, clickable map illustrates the ways technology can be used to break down barriers between schools, communities, and households. A “Reflection Tool” presents a series of questions aimed at identifying strengths and weaknesses in each quiz-taker; the idea is to foster self-reflection and professional growth. The site’s “Bandwidth Planner” explains bandwidth issues clearly by defining key terms and providing four detailed case studies for review, and helps principals and chief technology officers calculate the amount of bandwidth needed for their schools or districts. Lastly, the site’s “Transformation Toolkit” outlines a handful of activities to help bring students, teachers, parents, and community members into the educational technology conversation.
Compiled by Katie Ash, a reporter-researcher for Education Week’s Digital Directions.
A version of this article appeared in the June 09, 2008 edition of Digital Directions as Top Picks