Tag Archives: 21C

Cell Phones

Do you feel it now?

There have been so many predictions about the increasing pace of change, the volatility and uncertainty in exponential times, and  the ambiguity in how to make good decisions.

It’s been a year since Canada’s Digital Talent Strategy was released. It’s a very different time now than it was in March 2016, and we are now only 2 years away from being short 182000 workers in this country in the digital economy.

Look carefully at your current grade 10 students, because this will be their world on high school graduation day:

From the executive summary. Image links to original document.

So what is the urgent learning need in our schools?


Meanwhile, we have schools banning “cell phones” because they are a “distraction” from learning.

Or could we rephrase this as schools banning “powerful pocket computers” that give students access to the best teachers in the world?

When students are “distracted” by “cell phones”, what is the urgent learning need of the child?

We need to ask ourselves questions like:

When have we scaffolded the development of self-regulation with mobile devices?

When have we empowered students by showing them how to connect with experts from around the world?

How have we created the conditions for classroom learning to be relevant (an end game that changes rapidly)?

How have we prepared students for 2017 by teaching them the essential digital life skills they need, to use a powerful pocket computer to learn, to connect globally, to solve adaptive challenges with others, and to acquire the life skills needed to thrive in 2017 and beyond?

Or we could just take those powerful computers away from them so they don’t get distracted.



Featured image by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

This post is part of a #5post5days challenge issued by Carlo Fusco. Please take time to read the other blogs, and join in! Five posts in five days is not the same as one per day, and you can start any time! 1/5 posts available here. 2/5 posts available here.  3/5 posts can be viewed here.

What other words in education to we need to rethink the definition of?

1. School

2. Blended Learning

3. eLearning

4. Cell Phones

5. Student Success

Check out the other Day 4 Posts from #5posts5days here:

Carlo Fusco: Doing Away With Subjects

Jessica Weber:  Voyageurs of Learning


The Star


Living in a Competitive, Globally-Connected, and Technologically Intensive World

This past week, the Ontario Ministry of Education released the 21C Competencies Foundation Document, Phase 1.

What do you think?  Join the conversation.

Access the document here: http://www.edugains.ca/resources21CL/About21stCentury/21CL_21stCenturyCompetencies.pdf

Exploring Digital Literacy and the Importance of Confidence


Part of my current role in Ontario is working with teachers and education leaders to dig into what modern learning really looks like at the level of the “student desk”.

Much of the work in this province is informed by the thinking of Michael Fullan, particularly in his latest publications “Great to Excellent: Launching the Next Stage of Ontario’s Education Agenda“, and  “A Rich Seam: How New Pedagogies Find Deep Learning“.

Fullan’s “Six C’s” (for 21st Century skills) are frequently at the centre of such conversations.

Fullan's "6 C's", explained more fully. (From "A Rich Seam" - http://www.michaelfullan.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/3897.Rich_Seam_web.pdf)
Fullan’s “6 C’s”, explained more fully. (From “A Rich Seam” – http://www.michaelfullan.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/3897.Rich_Seam_web.pdf)


Fullan, of course, isn’t the first person to consider the skills needed for today’s world.  Doug Belshaw has spent many years studying and crowd-sourcing his ideas around what digital literacies look like.


Screen Shot 2014-10-22 at 5.50.26 AM
The 8 Elements of Digital Literacies, from “The Essential Elements of Digital Literacies”, http://www.slideshare.net/dajbelshaw/the-essential-elements-of-digital-literacies


Certainly the two groups of “C’s” represent slightly different purposes, but the overlap is obvious, and both inform our thinking about what learning needs to look like in today’s world.

Doug Belshaw: The importance of Confidence as a Digital Literacy component (click the image to link to the source).
Doug Belshaw: The importance of Confidence as a Digital Literacy component (click the image to link to the source).


My experience tells me that “Confidence” is a critical aspect of our work as we consider how learning needs to change.  A lack of confidence can be a prohibitive barrier to success in today’s digital spaces.

Screen Shot 2014-10-22 at 7.03.47 AM

Many educators express fear in making their thinking visible through blogging or ePortfolios because others will be critical, or perhaps even reprimand them for thinking differently.  Students, unfortunately, sometimes need to overcome the fear of past experiences to progress in particular subject areas.

Teachers need to feel confident in using new tools to engage learners and redefine what learning looks like in the classroom.

How are we creating the conditions in our classrooms, schools and systems so that all of our learners can develop the confidence they need to participate in, model and facilitate deep learning for everyone?

Further Resources:

Doug Belshaw: Digital Literacies and Web Literacies

Doug Belshaw: The 8 C’s of Digital Literacy

Lyn Hilt on Connected Principals: What is Digital Literacy?

SAMR Model Resources (Kathy Schrock)



“Confidence” Photo Credit: glsims99 via Compfight cc