INDT 501-01 21st Century Skills vs. Core Knowledge

January 27, 2013

Does being a digital-immigrant mean that I am incapable of learning how to use technology efficiently? Certainly not, I use several web sites proficiently and frequently, however it does not mean that I am adept in all technology. I think that when I am introduced to a new web site that there is definitely a learning curve that needs to be applied. Take blogging for example, I hope that each week blogging will be easier and better. I am sure the jury is still out on that. I wish that when I was going to school that all of these wonder advances had been available to me. I think I would have benefitted greatly from them. How much better would have typing have been, book reports would have taken half the time. Now we can just go onto databases and pull up as many articles or journals that we want. I do accept that not everyone appreciates technology as much as others do. Sometimes I think that we are on information overload, but I enjoy it nonetheless. What would I do without my ereader or cellphone?


Using technology in education is the present and future of education. While reading the USA Today article about the argument between Core Knowledge or Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21) I could not grasp the reasoning of Core Knowledge in that technology is “an ineffectual use of school time” (Toppo). It is not financially possible for school districts to take children on enough field trips to expose them to the world around them, a book does not paint a picture the way that an artist can, but through the internet people are able to see the world and the beautiful things that come from the magic of creation and investigation. Granted it is not the same as seeing it in person, but it is all that some people can afford.


Not every student learns the same way and the approach of Core Knowledge’ in my opinion does not address all learners. I think that students need a more a varied approach. I know that since going back to school I have seen professors in some of my classes use a variety of techniques and found that for me, when they used a variety of mediums I was able to stay focused longer and switching between lecture, media, and power points. The variety I feel holds students attention longer and offers a variety for students who learn differently. I think that mixing teaching techniques is something that I could incorporate into the classroom once I get a teaching position.


I really enjoyed the P21 website, I again have to come back to the argument that E.D. Hirsch Jr. made “most profoundly hurt disadvantaged children: At home, he says, they don’t get as much background as middle-class students in history, science, literature and the like” (Toppo), his argument is flawed. Going through the web site of P21, they read and illustrate books to children, which most disadvantaged students do not get at home. How is this taking away from their education? It’s not, they lean how to use a computer and get someone to read to them. Most of these kids would greatly benefit from this type of information.

Toppo, G. (2009, March 5). What to learn: ‘core knowledge’ or ’21st-century skills’? Retrieved January 23, 2013, from

Categories: Technology in Education.

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