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I wasn't able to find the article at the above link.
Sorry about the broken link, Michelle, and thanks for bringing it to my attention. Here is the link I've also fixed it in the discussion text above..
Yes, you are correct, but the world is much smaller now. So we have to communicate with people that speak a different language. That is where true 21st century skills will come from, our neighbor. If we lessen to them and meet thier needs it will expand ours needs and ideas. Please I love your ideas too so join us on my website. I am from Africa and schooled in America and know a lot of this gap of education, but need your help.
Here's more on 21st century skills.

When I researched this I recognised that many traditional skills are still relevant in the 21st century; plus a growing emphasis on new skills too.
We occasionally ask ourselves: what should we be doing with regard to Teaching and Learning in the 21st Century.

Here's one approach:

The Singularity University teaches the adoption of innovation via exponential technologies: article in Nature.

Most provocative quote:

"The twenty-first century won't see 100 years of advancement at year-2000 rates, but a mind boggling 20,000 years of progress."
Hi Adam

Two responses in one. First, you are right (above) that there are many traditional skills that will be relevant well into the future. Many of the high tech/ict type skills are being added naturally as the world citizens all get smart phones and the WWW becomes pervasive with WII like devices at discount store prices.

One needs only look at China and Brazil, two of the BRIC countries to understand that making a good living in those countries does not require "high tech" learning.

What is missing from all of these efforts is an emphasis on the critical skills that build "glocal" communities: the humanities and social sciences. There is still this Mythical belief left over from the Enlightenment, that we can grow jobs and the good society with technology. The Myth of progress based on the success of 17th century science, classical and neoclassical science/economics fails in a complex world. Yes we get tech "progress" but human progress is of a different sort and is not guaranteed to produce "progress" for the planet.
Good point Tom. I agree that we do need to focus on the human aspects of our progress too. With such staggering technological innovation on the horizon we need to start asking, and answering, some pretty profound questions.
Hi Tom and Adam,
I am new to this website and became a member as part of a class assignment. I was intrigued by the dialogue and was wondering if either of you have any suggestions of how to teach the required social skills needed for human interaction in such a technical environment?
I am seeking a Masters of Education to further my career in corporate training. Technology is continually changing the delivery of meeting the training needs of our employees, but what I struggle with more is reaching the employees at a deeper level. The desire to want to learn something new for the betterment of their own careers and for the company overall. How do you teach the desire to want to learn when it is just a job to them?
It may also be helpful to you to know that I work for a DoD company where the type of training I provide is a requirement where most of my audience are engineers who want to do engineering, not compliance type of work.

Any advice you can give me would be extremely appreciative.
Hi Christina

You do not say much about where you started your quest, what resources you have accessed and why you have found these wanting or not adequate for the problem(s) you are addressing. The entire corporate training community has been concerned with various dimensions of the issue you describe in the literature, HRD meetings, conferences such as those put on by Training Magazine, and in the daily practice of a large community of consultants.

What have you accessed and where are there gaps or ideas that do not relate or ring true to your situation?


tom abeles
Hi Christina

Welcome to the forum.

I'm guessing there's two parts to your question...

The social skills for interaction online are similar to those offline, but they are adjusted to an online context, such etiquette was called Netiquette - do you remember that phrase? I don't hear it much now, but there's still references out there:

One recommendation I came across for new online social networking communities was to allow new members to introduce themselves perhaps with the assistance of an icebreaker task.

The second part of your question is a bigger challenge: motivation. This is a big topic, and it might be that the best ideas for that are on sites that discuss motivation.

I'd be interested to hear what you discover; particularly if you find the technique works :-)

Here's a question to ponder though. Is it the job of an educator to motivate employees (in the workplace) or is it the job of their manager? I'd suggest the latter. An educator can make their course relevant and interesting so that students are more motivated to learn the topic; but that only addresses part of the employees' overall motivation.

Kind Regards
I would like comment on what I see as a primary 21C skill - How to be a Master Learner/Novice learner. I used to be a Sage on the Stage (I blog now lol) the next decade I was the Guide on the Side (open ended questions to individuals around the room). In my view it is the learners' life long responsibility to motivate themselves. To get the neural pathways blazing and challenge the corpus collosum bandwidth I set up authentic tasks emphasizing permanent change (problem solve) encouraging collaboration (social skills) and modeling how to switch from master learner to a novice learner (learning how to learn) as discoveries are made around the room to complete the task. In a session i usually like focus group as a master learner for 20% of time, spend 50% linking master and novice learners' in the class then calm down into a circle or view data show for the remaining 30% of time where students take the lead to demonstrate how problems were solved or state remaining complexities. Success -will respect for the individual, the valuing of diversity, legitimate ongoing social connections made in class continue 24/7?
Sorry - not sure I understand your question? Started your quest? I have worked for this company for 22 years, but only 1 year as a corporate trainer, so training is fairly new to me. The resources I have accessed is in its infancy since I just began to take classes in the Masters of Ed program a month or so ago. This blog/website is one of the resources I am looking to for information.


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