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Site Review: Partnership for 21st Century Skills

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Content:  P21 is a national organization that advocates for 21st Century readiness for every student. P21 and its members provide tools and resources to help the U.S. education system fuse the 3Rs and 4Cs (critical thinking and problem solving, communication, collaboration, and creativity and innovation). While leading districts and schools are already doing this, P21 advocates for local, state and federal policies that support this approach for every school.P21

Design: The site’s design is utilitarian and offers little in the way of aesthetics. There’s not much of interest “above the fold” on the homepage, although a Twitter feed promo gets prominent placement. Scrolling down, users will find announcements and news items in the main column, with links to newsletter subscriptions, publications and videos on the righthand side. Drop-down choices in the top bar include Overview, Tools & Resources, State Initiatives, Events & News and About Us. Navigation is easy enough, and visitors will find more than enough reading material to keep them busy.

Review: The strength of the P21 site is its ability to provide concrete examples of how 21st Century skills look when seamlessly infused into instruction. Highlights of available resources include a free self-assessment survey that plots where your district is today and sets a course for systemic integration of 21st Century learning. An excellent video collection shows relevant instructional practices in action. The “Route 21” area, billed as a one-stop shop for 21st Century skills-related information, resources and community tools, contains white papers and informative “snapshots” that demonstrate how specific skills can be taught. A series of implementation guides help state leaders and policymakers launch statewide 21st Century education initiatives. Finally, a P21 Common Core Toolkit explains how the P21 framework and the Common Core State Standards support each other, and demonstrates “what it looks like” to align instructional practices with both the common core and P21 skills.

Bottom Line: Schools, districts and states that are serious about building students’ 21st Century skills will find more than enough practical and concrete how-to information here.

Article by Celine Provini, EducationWorld Editor
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