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18 July 2007


Virtual Schools and 21st Century Skills

At the 2007 National Educational Computing Conference (NECC), Cable in the Classroom's Senior Director of Education Policy, Douglas Levin, had the opportunity to join Susan Patrick, President and CEO of the North American Council for Online Learning (NACOL), in presenting on the intersection of two emerging educational policy innovations: virtual schooling and 21st century skills.

Cable in the Classroom, as the national education foundation of the U.S. cable industry, is a founding board member of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. The Partnership is the leading advocacy organization infusing 21st Century skills into education.

NACOL and the Partnership for 21st Century Skills collaborated on a joint position paper released late last year and this presentation [MP3, 38MB] generally follow the outline of that collaboration.

The punchline:
If we are serious about ensuring that all students master the skills they will need for life, work, and citizenship in the 21st century, the continued expansion of virtual schooling (blended and wholly online) will be required. At the same time, while virtual schools by their very nature foster some of the skills outlined by the Partnership, many will have to become more intentional in their approaches to teaching and assessing the full range of 21st century skills.
Those interested in the work of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills might also be interested in perusing the Spring 2006 edition of Cable in the Classroom's Threshold, focused on high school reform and 21st century skills.

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