21st Century Learners

Professional development at Qatar Academy and beyond that makes the shift happen

June 4, 2009


The 21Century Learners hosted Qatar’s first TEDx event, TEDxQA. The event was held in the spirit of the TEDTalks – promoting ideas worth spreading. The aim was to build a larger local community of knowledge-seekers, discuss new ideas and watch inspiring presentations in order to make a difference and help shape the future.


NOTE: This is NOT an official TED event, but an independently organized TEDx event. This event is NOT being organized by the TED organization.

March 20, 2009

Special guest David Warlick.
We will make this the usual brunch session. Arrive at 8:30, ready for a 9:00 start.

David Warlick is a former classroom teacher, programmer and public speaker Since 1985 he has worked as a consultant helping educators around the world to better understand today's changing information landscape.
More information about David at http://davidwarlick.com Find also Handouts from presentations

David blogs at '2 Cents Worth'
  • Photos by David at 21C Learners
    Photos by David at 21C Learners
    Personal Learning Networks - read this FREE until end of April article just published in the Learning and Leading magazine of ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education), Grow Your Personal Learning Network
  • Contemporary Literacy - Read this online article by David, "A Day in the Life of Web 2.0"
  • Native Info Experience
  • 'Master Teacher' and what learning really looks like in the 21st Century

Ustream of first part of the session:
Live video chat by Ustream

Group video: 'Master Learner: What does learning look like'

Interesting articles:

Other ideas
  • Digiteens Go Global - Julie's presentation from the ECIS IT conference in London, early March 2009, featuring Flat Classroom Conference footage

February 20, 2009

View the backchannel file: 21C learners chatzy Feb 20.doc

Kim Cofino is our special guest this month. Kim is the 21st Century Literacy Specialist based in the Primary School library at International School Bangkok. Kim works as an information and technology integration specialist across the Primary and Middle schools at ISB. We are lucky to have her here at QA in the Senior School working with 21st century literacy objectives.

In addition we are very fortunate to have as a consultant at QA Dr John Turner, digital educator, flat classroom teacher and educationla technology leader. John is working with teachers to support the 1:1 implementation and is developing approaches and skills for 21st century learning.

Our theme for the week and this session of 21st Century Learners is "Create the Future". Our PD sessions this week in the QA Senior School are about creating a new future at QA that includes mobile computing in a 1:1 learning environment for the senior schoo and also includes online learning modes. We are busily discussing what it means to be a 21st century learner, teacher and classroom and coming towards creating a workable document for ALL learners at QA that reflect the need and the application of these 21st century skills and attitudes.

We welcome your input and ideas!

Other resources shared by Kim and participants during this session:

"Create the Future" video created by participants at this gathering.

Excerpt Video Discussion of February 20,2009 - Part I

21st Century Learners Workshop - Qatar Academy from Ray Jones on Vimeo.

More Resources:

November 20, 2008

This session will be with http://stager.org Gary Stager as our guest. The theme is "What if there are no 21st Century Skills?"

Join the back channel chat on chatzy.com, PW is qatar

Getting ready for our next session.......
Reading material:
  • Footprints in the Digital Age by Will Richardson ASCD introduction - In the Web 2.0 world, self-directed learners must be adept at building and sustaining networks. The author of "Footprints in the Digital Age" examines how the Web 2.0 world has resulted in digital footprints -- the online portfolios of who we are, what we do and, by association, what we know -- becoming increasingly woven into the fabric of almost every aspect of our lives. This article in the latest Educational Leadership explains that if we embrace the moment, rather than recoil from it, we may find opportunities to empower students to learn deeply and continually in ways that we could scarcely have imagined just a decade ago.
  • Measuring Skills for the 21st Century by Elena Silva, Education Sector, November 2008 - New assessments like the CWRA, however, illustrate that the skills that really matter for the 21st century—the ability to think creatively and to evaluate and analyze information—can be measured accurately and in a common and comparable way. These emergent models also demonstrate the potential to measure these complex thinking skills at the same time that we measure a student's mastery of core content or basic skills and knowledge. There is, then, no need for more tests to measure advanced skills. Rather, there is a need for better tests that measure more of the skills students' need to succeed today. …
  • Rethinking Skills and Content by Elizabeth Helfant, MICDS in St Louis
    • Literacies of a Life Long Learner (L4)
      • Basic Literacy (3R+ rigor + technology basics + disciplined mind)
      • Habits of Mind Literacy
      • Visual/Media Literacy
      • Information Literacy
      • Inter cultural Literacy (Global/Cultural Awareness)
      • Citizenship and Ethical Literacy (Digital Citizenship)
      • Network Literacy (includes communication and collaboration in a flat world)
  • E-Book: Education for the 21st Century: The Basics
  • Gary's Constructivist Learning book list

K12 Online Conference 2008 - a selection

One Laptop Per Child

Web 2.0 Smackdown

November 7, 2008

This session will continue to use the K12 Online Conference as the main catalyst for discussion.
Pre-meeting reading material "Rigor Redefined' by Tony Wagner, from Educational Leadership, online via the ASCD website
Read also: The Energy to Focus on Change by Kim Cofino

Today's guiding question: "What skills do students need to build successful careers, be good citizens and solve the problems of the 21st century?"

Getting started this session: Embedded Flatness by Terry Freedman, Flat Classroom Project 2008 Keynote

K12 Online Conference presentations - a selection from Week 2

Web 2.0 Smack Down
  • Edmodo - an educational tool for microblogging

Back Channel Text from this session

October 23, 2008

This session will focus on the K12 Online Conference. We will watch and discuss some session excerpts from week 1 (see K12 Online Schedule).

Today's guiding question: "What does it mean to be a 21st Century learner?"

  • Introductions - everyone
  • Session format - 3 strands, use of a back channel, future ambition to UStream, ongoing interaction via E4L Ning
  • Getting started
    • Join this wiki to contribute throughout the year
    • Sign up to E-Learning for Life Ning and join the 21C Learners Group
    • Respond to the discussion question "What does it mean to be a 21st Century learner"
    • Join the back channel chat on chatzy.com, PW is qatar
    • Join Delicious and add other participants to your network, use the tag qa21clearner for shared resources
    • Join Twitter, share IDs and follow participants
  • Discussion on guiding question
  • K12 Online presentations - watch and discuss (referring to guiding question)
  • Web 2.0 smack down - share your latest Web 2.0 find with everyone!
  • Next meeting?

K12 Online presentations - a selection from Week 1 for review
Pre-conference Keynote by Stephen Heppell -
It Simply Isn't the 20th Century Anymore Is It? So Why Would We Teach as Though It Was?
(Read Julie's blog notes on keynote)

Web 2.0 Smack Down

Back Channel Text from this session

Background to 21st Century Learners

As we move further into the 21st century and realize that schools are not always meeting the needs of teachers or students in terms of learning about and with e-Learning and mobile computing options we start to look at how we can make the shift to transform educational practice and embrace new methods that will help to support and improve learning.
Current accepted forms of professional development provide opportunities for small bites and quick-fix solutions but do not encourage immersion, ongoing conversations and collaborative sharing of experiences. Powerful learning practice amongst educators can and will make a difference to our objectives for implementing online learning and mobile computing at QA.
The move towards 21st Century Learners at Qatar Academy is aimed at those teachers who are ready to take on more, in fact take the next step towards shifting their practice to include new tools and e-learning/ICT embedded pedagogy. It is not compulsory at all, but caters for those who are willing and want an extra challenge.


Essential aims of 21st Century Learners
  • To cover and give equal importance to the three areas listed in the chart above: Research, Pedagogy, Tech Tools
  • To provide ongoing sessions throughout the year, of 2-3 hours per session
  • To establish a social learning environment that fosters collaboration and sharing as pre-requisites for knowledge construction
  • To support non-meeting times with online spaces that continue the conversations and inquiry-based learning mode
  • To support teachers in their preparation for teaching and as professional learners