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EducationWorld Hosts “Twitter Party” on 21st Century Skills

January 19, 2012

Reflecting educators’ growing use of Twitter for professional development, EducationWorld on January 5 facilitated a Twitter chat event where experts offered insights on students’ 21st century skills. A variety of participants shared perspectives on preparing today’s high schoolers for tomorrow’s careers.

Teachers and administrators can find a party roundup article, including additional educator resources on 21st century skills and workforce readiness, on

“Twitter reduces the sense of isolation we often feel as educators and is a great way to access free, cutting-edge professional development tips,” said Education World Social Media Editor Sarah W. Caron. “At EducationWorld, we maximize the potential of this platform by regularly sending informative tweets—make sure to follow @Education_World on Twitter to receive these. We also organize Twitter events that bring together experts on a topic and those who want to learn more about that subject.”

For those who are new to this kind of professional development, the recent Education World article Using Twitter for Professional Development describes how to get started.

“Educators shouldn’t worry about a large learning curve here. Twitter parties are a relaxed, fun way to access manageable bites of useful information, as well as links to more in-depth resources. They’re like face-to-face roundtables, just a lot more convenient,” Caron explained.

At the January 5 event, experts on 21st century skills and the future workforce included:

  • Heather Beaven, CEO of The Florida Endowment Foundation for Florida’s Graduates, a school-to-career nonprofit serving over 3,000 students statewide annually.
  • Karen Collias, an educational consultant, the founder of Knowledge Without Borders and an expert in STEM curriculum.
  • Maris Callahan, founder of Maris Callahan Marketing and Public Relations who has worked with some of the world’s biggest brands.
  • Marilyn Curtain-Phillips, M. Ed., a high school mathematics teacher, college instructor and creator of the Math Attack program.
  • Dr. Robert Neuman, former Dean of Academic Advising for Marquette University and author of Are You Really Ready for College: A College Dean’s 12 Secrets for Success.
  • Sean Marder, a recent graduate and Associate Marketing Manager of CRCC Asia Ltd.
  • Ray Kelly, CEO of Certiport and a global advocate for the value of technology-enabled education.

Party participants assessed how students currently stack up in terms of career readiness, while also offering school-to-career preparation tips. The Education World article Five Ways to Better Prepare Students for Careers offers additional insights from these Twitter party speakers.

“Before entering college, students need to know the marketability of the field they choose. Will their major be in demand?” asked Curtain.

Noting the importance of professional “soft skills,” Callahan explained, “Professional conduct is a skill that many [students] do not ‘get’ when they enter the workforce—i.e., addressing clients too informally.”

In terms of the types of experiences that can help ready young people for the future workforce, Collias recommended community-oriented projects. “Service learning is an opportunity for students to work with others—from tutoring to research projects—to improve their community,” she said. “STEM is foundation for the global challenges of the 21st century but must be accompanied by a focus on creativity and communication.”

“Any classroom is a place for collaborative learning if the teacher has the right skills. Students can learn from each other,” added Neuman.