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21 st Century Knowledge and Skills: Reinventing the School Experience. Bob Pearlman bobpearlman@mindspring.com http://www.bobpearlman.org ISAS Head’s Meeting Fort Worth, Texas November 3, 2003. Released Monday, July 7, At NECC. What if we asked the kids?.

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21 st century knowledge and skills reinventing the school experience
21st Century Knowledge and Skills:

Reinventing the School Experience

Bob Pearlmanbobpearlman@mindspring.comhttp://www.bobpearlman.org

ISAS Head’s Meeting

Fort Worth, Texas

November 3, 2003




July 7,



School I'd Like competitionThe Guardian Newspaper http://education.guardian.co.uk/schools/story/0,5500,501374,00.html

High Schools are

“Institutions of today run on the principles of yesterday”

-- 15-year old British girl, 1967

School I'd Like competitionThe Guardian Newspaper http://education.guardian.co.uk/schools/story/0,5500,501374,00.html
  • The school we'd like is (2000):
  • A beautiful school with glass dome roofs to let in the light, uncluttered classrooms and brightly coloured walls.
  • A safe school with swipe cards for the school gate, anti-bully alarms, first aid classes, and someone to talk to about our problems.
  • A listening school with children on the governing body, class representatives and the chance to vote for the teachers.
  • A flexible school without rigid timetables or exams, without compulsory homework, without a one-size-fits-all curriculum, so we can follow our own interests and spend more time on what we enjoy.
the school that i d like 2000
The School that I’d Like, 2000
  • A relevant school where we learn through experience, experiments and exploration, with trips to historic sites and teachers who have practical experience of what they teach.
  • A respectful school where we are not treated as empty vessels to be filled with information, where teachers treat us as individuals, where children and adults can talk freely to each other, and our opinion matters.
  • A school without walls so we can go outside to learn, with animals to look after and wild gardens to explore.
  • A school for everybody with boys and girls from all backgrounds and abilities, with no grading, so we don't compete against each other, but just do our best.

“If I Could Make a School”

  • by student Pooja Agarwal, (Learning and Leading with Technology, November 2001), Student Technology Leadership Symposium, June 23-24, 2001, held in conjunction with NECC, by the International Society of Technology in Education (ISTE)
  • U.S. student leaders want schools that :
  • Are Fun
  • End lecturing from a textbook
  • Institute problem-based, discovery-based, and inquiry-based curricula
  • Implement “real life” situations and hands-on learning
  • Shape the curriculum with student internship experiences
  • Build relationships and “animated mutual learning” between adults and students
  • Provide an “inviting” physical environment
  • Provide the technology tools for students and teachers to do their work.
the school that i d like





Real World



The School that I’d Like

Changing Reality

  • Changing Skills
  • Design Criteria
changing reality
Changing Reality

Will your Region circa 2030 be vastly different from today?


The First Recession of the New Millennium

Fall, 2000 – The Dot.Com bust

Spring, 2001 – The Technology and Telecommunications sectors go bust

Fall, 2001 to present – The Blue Chips drop 50%


Internet Cluster Regions – U.S.


“Silicon City”

Seattle —

“Silicon Forest”


“Route 128”

New York —

“Silicon Alley”

San Francisco

“Multimedia Gulch”

Washington, D.C. “Silicon Dominion”

Silicon Valley

Los Angeles “Digital Coast”

ResearchTriangle “Silicon Triangle”

Austin —

“Silicon Hills”

Atlanta“Capital of the New South”

Miami“Silicon Beach”

  • 4th largest city in U.S.
  • 10th biggest Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area (CMSA) in U.S.

Global Internet Cluster Regions


“Silicon Valley North”

United Kingdom

“Silicon Kingdom”


“Wireless Valley”


“Bit Valley”


“Silicon Saxony”

China/Hong Kong

“Cyber Port”


“Telecom Valley”


“Silicon wadi”



“Intelligent Island”

United States


Silicon Valley, 2000

40% of workforce in 7

high-tech clusters


Silicon Valley, 1970



1992-2001 The longest expansion in US History

        • H1-B visas
        • The rise of Bangalore

USA Work and Travel Program

Czech students pose at a fast food restaurant in Fremont, Ohio

Concession operator at an amusement park


The Old Formula:

Education => Student Success

scans workplace know how 1991
SCANS Workplace Know-How (1991)
  • Competencies – effective workers can productively use:
  • Resources -- identifying, organizing, planning, and allocating time, money, materials, and workers;
  • Interpersonal Skills -- negotiating, exercising leadership, working with diversity, teaching others new skills, serving clients and customers, and participating as a team member;
  • Information Skills -- using computers to process information and acquiring and evaluating, organizing and maintaining, and interpreting and communicating information;
  • Systems Skills -- understanding systems, monitoring and correcting system performance, and improving and designing systems; and
  • Technology utilization skills -- selecting technology, applying technology to a task, and maintaining and troubleshooting technology.

Source: What Work Requires of School, 1991, Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills, U.S. Department of Labor

scans workplace know how 19911
SCANS Workplace Know-How (1991)
  • The Foundation – competence requires:
  • Basic Skills -- reading, writing, speaking, listening, and knowing arithmetic and mathematical concepts;
  • Thinking Skills -- reasoning, making decisions, thinking creatively, solving problems, seeing things in the mind's eye, and knowing how to learn; and
  • Personal Qualities -- responsibility, self-esteem, sociability, self-management, integrity, and honesty.

Written for NCREL by Cheryl Lemke, Metiri Group

Sources: What Work Requires of School, 1991, Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills, U.S. Department of Labor A Nation of Opportunity: Building America's 21st Century Workforce, 2000, 21st Century Workforce Commission, U.S. Congress Preparing Students for the 21st Century, 1996, American Association of School Administrators

working in the real world i e california
Working in the Real World (i.e. California?)
  • Projects, projects, projects
  • Teamwork and collaboration
  • Self-direction
  • Interpersonal skills and Networking
  • No one asks about your formal education



July 7,




How do students get these skills?

Do students want to get these skills?

summary of findings
Summary of findings
  • The workforce gap in Silicon Valley, comprised of unfilled positions, outside recruits and commuters, has increased by over 25% since 1997 and cost business more than $6 billion a year in 2000.
  • High access does not appear to translate into high awareness of or motivation to pursue technology careers.
  • Motivation to pursue technology careers is less among females than males.
  • Social networks for technology acclimation drive an individual’s motivation and preparation to pursue technology careers
  • There are fewer technology related networking opportunities for Hispanics and African Americans than for Asians and Whites.

“Social networks that can bridge across geography, race and class are key to success in the new economy. ‘Hard’ skills are essential, but it’s the connections and mentoring that provide information about what skills are necessary and a vision of how acquiring them can lead to new opportunities for all our residents”.

-- Professor Manuel Pastor, Jr., University of California, Santa Cruz

and how will they get these skills
… and how will they get these skills?

Awareness Interest Motivation Preparation

strategies that make a difference
Strategies that Make a Difference
  • Engagement
  • Hands-on
  • Adult connections
  • Internships
  • Real World immersion

The New Formula:

Education => Student Success

(Hard + Soft)

+ Skills

+ Social Networks

there is a big difference between a successful school and a school of successful students
There is a big difference between a successful school and a school of successful students!
  • Academics, technology access, and career information are the foundation, but they are not enough
  • Equally important is student motivation stimulated by experience, adult and real world immersion, and an expanding social network

Kids Needs:

  • Safe
  • Respect
  • Personal
  • Interests

Design Criteria

  • Experience
  • Real World
  • Workspace
  • Tools
  • Personalization
  • Common Learning Goals
  • Adult World Immersion
  • Performance-Based Student Work & Assessment

Design Principles



Program, Facility, Transitions, Exhibitions, Advisories, Technology, Projects, Portfolios, Internships, Size and Teams


Stages of Educational Technology Implementation



Reinvent the School Experience!




Digital Portfolios




Bob Pearlman



"New Ingredient for Student Success: Social Networks" http://www.bobpearlman.org/Articles/Student_Success.htm

“Reinventing the High School Experience“