21st Century Critical Thinking Skills
Today’s student is facing an even more fast-paced and knowledge driven society than what teachers prepared students for just a few years ago. Information is everything, and it is changing at a rapid pace. Students who cannot keep up with new knowledge and who cannot synthesize and parse out what they need to know to successfully complete a real-world task will be left behind. Even more importantly, students who do not know how to analyze an authentic, real-life situation critically will be considered ill-prepared for life and the 21st century workforce. Critical Thinking is one of the most important 21st century skills teachers want to instill on their students. The American Management Corporation states that employers want to hire workers who can solve problems in innovative ways and who can think critically.
This is where educational technology comes in to assist teachers in preparing students for life after “To be effective in the 21st century, citizens and workers must be able to create, evaluate, and effectively utilize information, media, and technology,”graduation. Students utilize technology in and outside the classroom for all sorts of purposes. Odeum is a tool educators can use to expand and deepen students’ understanding of social studies, foreign languages, and language arts in an innovative way that engages students and promotes critical thinking skills.
By making students active participators in a variety of experiences that cover lessons in Odeum, teachers open students’ minds to what it may have been like to be part of Macbeth’s world or to be a resident of the Warsaw ghetto in World War II. Students connect with their lessons in a way not previously possible before Odeum. For example, in the lesson on Macbeth, they interact with characters, and they must understand what the characters are saying in order to make decisions. This is opposed to just reading the old English text and trying to understand it.
“To be effective in the 21st century, citizens and workers must be able to create, evaluate, and effectively utilize information, media, and technology,” according to the 21st Century Partnership for Learning. Odeum effectively addresses the need students have to be technologically literate in the very nature of its structure and delivery of lessons. Finally, Odeum does just what former Secretary of Education Arne Duncan stated that education should be to meet students’ needs:
In the 21st century, students must be fully engaged. This requires the use of technology tools and resources, involvement with interesting and relevant projects, and learning environments—including online environments—that are supportive and safe.