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21st Century Skills



21st Century Learning Skills are many and varied. Our focus is on 3 + 1. (Handout PDF) + PPT HO

The core are:


  • Communication
  • Collaboration
  • Critical Thinking


As these three grow in skillfulness, students develop as innovators. Here are resources and ideas that help support developing 21st Learning skills in students.


Web 2.0 Tools

To develop 21st Century skills as educators we need to learn and use the tools ourselves.

Team Building

Students need practices in these skills, especially communication and collaboration. Teambuilding and icebreakers can be effective when students do multiple experiences, and reflect after each session. 

Online Presentation Editor for students

Back Channel Learning Conversations

During a lecture or at PD, maintain a discussion board presence where participants can post questions and resources related to topics as they're pondered. Quick, and generally free, the conversation can be saved for later review and as reference notes. The facilitator/teacher can also join in to post questions, answers, and resources.

Free Online Communication

Voice or video chat: Now students and outside experts and mentors can have conversation around the work anywhere, anytime, and for free. Students can maintain collaboration experiences while not in the same building or country. 

Rubrics are excellent tools for assessing students' growth in 21st Century Skills. It's important that students are part of the evaluation process, both of themselves and their team members. A good rubric brings clarity to expectations.

Blogging is a way for students to comment to a broader audience, publish works and ideas, and engage in relevant dialog. Blogger integrates well with users of Google tools and apps. WordPress also has great functions.

Reviewer Publications

Students need avenues to voice their opinions. Shape and express ideas to a general audience based on their learning of the current curriculum and learning targets.

Collaborative Editing & File Sharing

Resources for asynchronous sharing and real-time editing of data are important for developing and refining ideas during and outside of school. 

Survey and Polling Tools

During inquiry, students need tools to more efficiently gather data from peers and other audiences who can inform their explorations of study. All are online.



Creating, Collaborating, and Publishing Content

There are social network tools that students use to exchange ideas and develop content such as Twitter and Facebook. Wikis are great for developing a Social Education site where students and teachers can share ideas, develop content, and problem solve. All within an environment used for learning and exploration through the 21st Learning Skills. (Example would be this very site)

Wikis in Plain English:


Wiki Examples 



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