In a recent post, we briefly touched on 21st century skills. Just to re-cap, according to P21.org, these are “the skills and knowledge students need to succeed in work, life and citizenship”. The entire skill set is broken down into three main areas: learning and innovation skills, life and career skills, and information, media and technology skills. The first area, learning and innovation, is made up of four key skills, often referred to as the 4Cs. These are: critical thinking, creativity, collaboration and communication.
Here at MakePi, we feel strongly about developing these skills in the students of today. In fact, we designed the MakePad with these skills in mind. The purpose of this article is to re-visit the 4C’s and see how MakePad “stacks up”.
The MakePad and the 4C’s
According to one definition, critical thinking is “the mental process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating information to reach an answer or conclusion.” When learning how to code with the MakePad, students will certainly be engaged in the central processes of critical thinking. In addition to conceptualizing their ideas and instantaneously applying their new-found knowledge and skill, learning with the MakePad is all about trial and error and learning through reflection.
Creative skills are an integral part of solution based approach to problem-solving, and of ‘maker thinking’. As we alluded to in one of our recent posts, maker culture is all about a DIY approach to learning; one whereby students create, construct and build tangible objects or produce personalized content. These principles are at the center of our philosophy and the MakePad was designed to give students to express their creativity and individuality. Furthermore, using the provided components, students can easily build the tablet themselves from scratch!
Collaboration relates to a person’s ability to work with a diverse group of people in a respectful and productive manner. Learning to work as a team holds out many benefits as far as a student’s learning is concerned; benefits that will continue throughout a student’s life. The MakePad facilitates collaboration at various stages during the learning process. Kids will collaborate and share with others, communicating their ideas, successes and failures with friends, relatives or others in their class.
Clear and effective communication is vital to success in the range of different situations. The challenge set before educators is to ensure that the communication skills that are taught to students now are useful and relevant in the current technological landscape. For example, according to Concordia University, technology literacy is extremely important. With the MakePad, not only will students be practicing communicating with each other using the traditional methods, they will be developing their repertoire of technology and digital literacy skills. In learning how to code, they will be interacting with the world in ways they could never have imagined!
Let the MakePad Work Its Magic
The MakePad is an excellent resource for teaching kids how to code. We’re confident it will assist students to develop 21st century skills as well, namely, critical thinking, creativity, collaboration and communication. We invite you to get on board and help us move STEM education into the 21st century! Sign up here!