• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • You already know Dokkio is an AI-powered assistant to organize & manage your digital files & messages. Very soon, Dokkio will support Outlook as well as One Drive. Check it out today!


Kimberly Young's Portfolio Page

Page history last edited by Kimberly Young 14 years, 1 month ago

Welcome to My Portfolio page!


21st Century Skills and Technology in the Social Studies Classroom 

Preliminary Source List (See Final Source Page: References and Resources ):



These videos help to give a broad overview of just what 21st century teaching is all about. It is not about eliminating content or teaching more skills.  It's about creating a classroom dynamic in which our students are actively participating in our classes; where critical thinking and career skills are taught through the content; and where students are prepared for their future in a changing world. No longer should we be teaching our content in isolation or for rote memorization, but we should be engaging content areas with one another and focusing on teaching for practical applications.



This is a publication on what employers see in their current workforce. In general, students are not prepared to enter the workforce. The publication also emphasizes the importance of collaboration between community organizations, businesses, and education facilities in rethinking and redesigning our school systems.



The above source helps to demonstrate how 21st century skills can be taught within the social studies curriculum. Great resource for sample lessons, activities, etc.





Helpful Resources for Social Studies Teachers:


Helpful Resources for other teachers:

http://serc.carleton.edu/sp/library/google_earth/index.html (extremely helpful for science teachers)



Sample Technologies to Consider:




I've chosen (at this point in time)  to work with these 2 technologies because I think they represent significantly differing uses of technologies with practical applications in a Social Studies Classroom. I also think that both technologies present opportunities to engage students in content while teaching 21st century skills.




Needs Assessment:


          The Instructional Problem

My Needs Assessment is based on multiple factors.  Firstly, it is based some discussions I've had with colleagues about our social studies curriculum: what content and skills we're teaching, why we're teaching that content and those skills, how we're teaching that content and why, and lastly how what we're doing in 9th grade is related to "real-life." I also arrived at my Needs Assessment via research and a conference.  In October, I attended a Project Based Learning Conference and at that point, I began to rethink the way I was teaching. All of the organizations, education facilities, and business involved with 21st century skills assert that students are not prepared for the future (See Relevant Sources: http://www.conference-board.org/pdf_free/BED-06-workforce.pdf, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_ehGLqzBVM, http://21stcenturyskills.org/documents/P21_Framework.pdf, and www.thegateway.org). 

Although I am far from a project based learning curriculum, I am trying to incorporate multiple project based learning assignments in my classrooms in an effort to "teach" and have students practice 21st century skills. 


Many educators recognize that our world is changing and from conversation, I do believe that educators want to change too. But the roadblock comes when educators try to pinpoint exactly how the world is changing and how to adjust their curriculum accordingly without sacrificing the content they love.


          The Instructional Solution

The intent of this mini-course is to educate teachers on the principles of 21st century learning with an emphasis on 21st century skills. In learning, practicing, and applying principles of 21st century education, students will also be investigating how technology can be used to teach 21st century skills. Two specific technologies will be introduced: GoogleEarth and blogging. During the course of the mini-course students will also have the opportunity to design skeleton lessons teaching 21st century skills using technology.


The audience for this mini-course on a holistic level is relatively specific.  This course is aimed at 7-12 Social Studies teachers of  most subcontent areas (World History, United States History, Economics, Government, etc.), This audience may include preservice teachers. All students will be in the process of completing a Bachelor's Degree in Social Studies Education or related field and/or have already completed a degree program.  Most of the students will have a Master's Degree in a Social Studies or Education related field. All age groups from young new teachers to veteran teachers nearing retirement as well as both genders will participate. Non social studies teachers or elementary teachers may be interested in Specific Lessons (i.e. Introduction to 21st Century Skills, GoogleEarth, or Blogging).


The Major Goals

          Considering the Needs Assessment and Instructional Solution, I have developed several major goals for the                 mini-course.


          By the end of this mini-course students will have:

        1.  attained the ability to articulate the meaning behind "21st Century Skills"
        2.  realized the relevance of 21st century skills to their curriculum
        3.  evaluated lesson plans based on their instruction in/or use of 21st Century Skills
        4.  reflected on their current curriculum(s) and their connections to 21st Century Skills 
        5.  designed basic lesson plans in their specific content areas that instruct/use 21st Century Skills


          Course Objectives


                1.   Asked to explain the background behind "21st century skills" and to denote their relevance to social studies, participants will generate in writing an explanation that discusses a changing workplace and in a broader sense, a changing world and social studies as a vehicle for teaching those skills.

                2. Given a sample social studies lesson plans, participants will identify the 21st skills present by listing at least 3 skills found in the lesson plan.

                3.  Given the opportunity to freely design a lesson plan, participants will choose to integrate technology and 21st century skills as evidenced by their final written lesson skeleton.

               4.  Asked to create a lesson plan using a specific technology (either Google Earth or Blogging), participants will generate a lesson idea/skeleton in writing that teaches or pratices at least 2 specific 21st century skills in conjunction with social studies content within the context of the given technology.



               Prerequisite Skills for attaining course objectives

                    Essential Prerequisites:      

      • Students must know what 21st century skills are
      • Students must know that the 21st century movement is aimed at teaching specified skills through content, not eliminating content
      • Students must be able to use Google Earth at a basic level
      • Students must be able to use a blog at a basic level
      • Students must be able to integerate Google Earth and blogs meaninfully within a social studies curriculum                    

                    Supportive Prerequisites 

      • Students should have a receptive attitude towards 21st century skills 
      • Studens should be open to using new technologies in the social studies classroom 


 Curriculum Map

Course Objective:

Students will understand what 21st century skills are, their relevancy to the social studies curriculum, and be able to create lesson plans that effectively teach/practice 21st century skills using technology within the context of social studies


   Unit 1: A Course Introduction

          Prerequisite knowledge/skills:

  • (Supportive) While it is not required, it would be helpful for students have a basic understanding of what 21st century skills are
  • (Supportive) Students should be familiar with 21st century careers/changing workplace from the viewpoint of a 21st century society member



    •      activate student prior knowledge 
    •      identify human needs of the professional workplace



  1. Initial Reflection Question: How has the world changed since you/your parents were in high school? What new careers exist? How have careers that have been in existence for the long term changed? How has the education system changed?  
  2. Interview: Students will interview at minimum 3 employers in any given field. Students will record answers to these basic questions:
  •     What positions will you be/are you filling in the coming months/years?
  •     Are any of these positions newly created? If so, why was there a need for the position?
  •     What types of candidates are you looking for?  (education, experience, etc.) What skills are essential to possess in order to be successful in your workplace?
  •     Do you think that high school graduates/college graduates (dependent on answer to previous questions) are prepared for these careers? Explain.
  •     If students are prepared, what are "good" practices in high schools/colleges? If students aren't prepared, what are your suggestions for improving graduate quality?       

3. Videos: 



4. Document Analysis: http://www.conference-board.org/pdf_free/BED-06-workforce.pdf


5. Unit 5 Reflection: Overall, would you say that schools are preparing students for participation in the 21st century workplace? How do you think the social studies classroom can be used as a vehicle for teaching/practicing 21st century skills?


   Unit 2: What are 21st Century Skills?

     Prerequisite knowledge/skills:  

  • (essential - from Unit 1) Students must have an understanding of what the 21st century workplace requires of employees 
  • (supportive) Students should possess an willingness to explore methods of altering curriculum methods in order to improve the field of education



  • identify and understand the major 21st century skills and how they are a response to the changing workplace
  • locate 21st century skills in sample social studies lesson plans
  • reflect on use of 21st century skills in participant's curricula  
  • recognize the role of technology in developing 21st century skills 



  1. Readings
  2. Application of readings: Students will identify 21st century skills from a list of skills and explain why.
  3. Analysis: Students will examine 2-3 social studies lesson plans, and identify if, and how 21st century skills are taught or practiced. Students will also comment on areas of improvement in the lesson plans.
  4. Reflection: How are you currently teaching/practicing 21st century skills in your curricula?.


   Unit 3: Using GoogleEarth to teach and practice 21st Century Skills


  •  (essential) Students must know what 21st century skills are 
  • (essential) Students must recognize the relevance between 21st century skills and the social studies curriculum
  • (supportive) Students must possess a postive attitude about using new technologies 
  • (supportive) Students should possess a basic understanding/familarity with GoogleEarth



  • navigate GoogleEarth comfortably
  • identify ways Google Earth can be used to teach/practice 21st century skills  
  • design a lesson that uses GoogleEarth to teach 21st century skills



  1. Readings: Technology and 21st Century Skills
  2. GoogleEarth introduction & practice (here, I will develop a written tutorial for participants to follow as they become familiar with GoogleEarth, or I will find a tutorial on the internet)
  3. Analysis: Students will review 2-3 lesson plans using GoogleEarth, reflect on their use of 21st century skills, and develop suggestions for improvement
  4. Design: Students will design their own lesson idea using GoogleEarth that encourages the use of 21st century skills in the social studies content area 


   Unit 4: Blogging as part of a 21st Century Classroom


  •  (essential) Students must know what 21st century skills are 
  • (essential) Students must recognize the relevance between 21st century skills and the social studies curriculum
  • (supportive) Students must possess a postive attitude about using new technologies 
  • (supportive) Students should possess a basic understanding/familarity with blogs



  • identify the purpose behind blogging
  • become familiar with blogging practices 
  • identify ways blogging can be used to teach/practice 21st century skills  
  • design a lesson that uses blogging to teach/practice 21st century skills



  1. Readings: What is blogging?
  2. Examination of Sample Blogs: Compare/Contrast Uses of blogs
  3. Analysis: Students will review 2-3 lesson plans using blogging, reflect on their use of 21st century skills, and develop suggestions for improvement
  4. Tutorial: How to Create a Blog (using 1-2 blogging websites) 
  5. Design: Students will design their own lesson idea using blogging that encourages the use of 21st century skills in a social studies content area


        Unit 5: Reflecting on 21st Century Skills & Technologies - What will your 21st Century Classroom Look Like?


  • Students must know what 21st century skills are
  • Students must recognize the relevancy of 21st century skills to the social studies curriculum
  • Students must know how technology an be used to practice/teach 21st century skills



  • identify other technologies that can be used to teach/practice 21st century skills 
  • reflect on knowledge/skills acquired through the course 



1. Brief exploration of other technologies that could be used to teach 21st century skills. 

2. Written Reflection (content/skills): What 21st century skills do you see as priorities? Explain. What specific actions are you taking/plan on taking to address 21st century skills in your classroom? How helpful will GoogleEarth and Blogs be in your instrucction?


Course Methods/Instructional Techniques


This course uses a variety of methods and instructional techniques.  For my discussion here, I will be using references models and strategies acquired from Mastering Possibilities on page 152.


Unit 1 and 5 are largely based on the Personal family of instructional models.  It uses both nondirective and reflection strategies to assist students in articulating their own personal experiences and prior knowledge and encourages them to use this in conjunction with their new knowledge to make changes within the context of their social studies classrooms.  Unit 1 also has an element of inductive learning which is an information-processing skill.  By asking students to make connections between their experiences, people they've interviewed, and the videos they've watched, students are working toward developing the implication that these connetions and conclusions result in a need for 21st century skill based instruction.


Units 2, 3, and 4 use mutliple strategies and models.  Problem Based Learning, as discussed in our course's discussion, is used in a very basic manner.  Students are asked to apply new knowledge within the framework of their own classroom, which allows for task authenticity for the student.   According to the chart on page 152, this best fits the cognitive apprenticeship model as part of the integrative instructional family.  In a few places, students are asked to read selected pieces and answer questions that are both lower-level and higher-level according to Bloom's taxonomy.  In this case, students are using the models of conceptual attainment and conceptional development as part of the information-processing instructional family.  In a few cases, as in the case of Unit 3, students must undergo training in technology (GoogleEarth).  This is an example of a training model and is in the behavior family on instructional processes.



To begin the course, click here: 21st Century Skills and Technology in the Social Studies Classroom



Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.