Major Skills For 21st Century Students
There is no doubt that being a student in this day and age is not easy. The traditional classroom model of having an all-knowing sage stand in front of the class to lecture and disseminate materials is no longer common in today’s schools. As the internet becomes an easily accessible resource with an abundance of information, a teacher’s role has evolved to become more of a guide or mentor, responsible for empowering and supporting students. In our digital and interconnected world, education has evolved to become more holistic. Learners are not only expected to attend classes but to actively participate in discussions, attend extracurricular activities, have a healthy social life, be an expert in technology and engage in personal time. The skills that students need to succeed, not only at school but also in their lives, have evolved from qualities like discipline and obedience to problem-solving and being a team player. If you are a student and you are feeling overwhelmed by the responsibilities you have to juggle, don’t worry. The good news is that you can easily acquire the knowledge needed by ordering the needed paper at academic writing services like Pro-Papers or just to find needed relevant sources of information. Below are the major skills every learner should have.
- Being a team player and teamwork
Group projects inevitably define the concept of 21st-century education. When one asked the parents if they had to do team assignments in school, they instantly shook their heads. Parents said when they were in high school, all they had to do was listen to the teacher in class and finish homework. When one thinks back to the college experience, almost 90 percent of my classes involved group projects. With the omnipresence of the internet in this digital era, we are becoming more and more globalized and interconnected through instantaneous and more effective ways of communication. Students are becoming increasingly social and schools are encouraging this in their implementation of group projects in classrooms and a plethora of options for student-run groups and activities. Hence, it is incredibly important for students today to be a good team player. You can develop this skill by learning to listen and respect other people’s opinions. Being a good team player and effective collaborator not only helps you in school but also improves your mental and emotional health through meaningful conversations and relationships.
- Problem solving and creativity
We currently live in a precarious world – nothing is certain, new technology pops up every day and students need to learn to anticipate challenging problems that we can’t even conceive of today. Our 21st-century education system will be asking students to realize solutions to problems and concepts they have never heard of before. To be a good problem-solver, you need to be able to work independently from your teachers. It is important to be creative by thinking about information in new ways and make new connections. You need to be able to enjoy taking risks and being experimental. A good way to develop this skill is to train yourself to be constantly engaging and thinking of solutions to problems you see in your daily routine. For example, if you read the news about the trade war between China and the U.S., ask yourself what you would do fix the issue. Being proactive about coming up with solutions to problems will invariably make you a better student, classmate, and future worker.
- Digital and technology literacy
Try imagining going a day without your phone. It’s almost impossible, right? Our phones and laptops govern almost every basic function of our day-to-day lives. The world we live in is undergoing a revolution, unlike anything we’ve seen before: The Fourth Industrial Revolution or a digital revolution, which is creating profound changes in the educational landscape around the world. Even school homework these days are all expected to be done online. Having technology literacy in using a computer, phone and software programs will give you the advantage of adapting to the world more effectively. Studies have shown that digital literacy is the key element to success in today’s global and digital economy.
- Critical and analytical thinking
This skill is an extension of the problem-solving skill talked about previously. Again, memorization and just listening in class won’t get you an “A” in class anymore. With so much information available on the internet and on social media, you have to be good at being selective with the information you take in and learn to challenge everything you read. Unfortunately, we live in an era of fake news and cyber-attacks, so you just can’t trust the information you read on the web anymore. At the same time, you also can’t expect to learn everything from a textbook. This is where critical and analytical thinking comes in. You have to train yourself to see information through different lenses and angles. Compartmentalizing and organizing your thoughts into subgroups is important to deal practically with problems. Being a good critical and analytical thinker will equip you with the steps necessary to make effective decisions in life.
Even if you have no aspirations to hold a leadership role or be a CEO, leadership skills are extremely important for a 21st-century student. Being a good leader means mastering qualities like being a good decision-maker, a good organizer, a strategic thinker, and an effective communicator. Our society exists in human interactions and being a good leader will help you gain the effective interpersonal skills needed for communication. Whether it be in group projects, in-class discussions or in extracurricular meetings, having good leadership skills will help you propel in all aspects of your student life. Being a good leader also means being flexible and compassionate. People don’t like working with authoritative, power-consumed bosses, and similarly, being a good leader doesn’t mean being aggressive or abrasive. Always remember that ethics and empathy go a long way when it comes to being a leader.