Unit Title: Utilizing 21st Century Skills        Grade Level: High School Faculty


Subject/Topic Areas: 21st Century Skills     Time Frame: ongoing


Stage 1 – Identify Desired Results


Established Goals

 NETS Standards Met:


Teachers will:

1.a:  promote, support, and model creative and innovative thinking and inventiveness

5.a: participate in local and global learning communities to explore creative applications of technology to improve student learning

5.c: evaluate and reflect on current research and professional practice on a regular basis to make effective use of existing and emerging digital tools and resources in support of student learning

5.d:  Contribute to the effectiveness, vitality, and self- renewal of the teaching profession and of their school and community


 What understandings are desired?

What essential questions will be considered?

Technology is a powerful tool that can

enhance communication and establish

connections among teachers across the


By subscribing to an RSS reader, teachers can follow the blogs of colleagues in their content area, becoming part of an online learning community to generate and collect ideas to be implemented in the classroom.  


How can I enhance my teaching practice by accessing the social networking power of the Internet?

How can I utilize the information power of the web to enhance my classroom instruction on a daily basis?

What can I do to inspire and empower students to help them become engaged, 21st century learners?


What key knowledge and skill will students acquire as a result of this unit?

Teachers will know….


  • How to set up an RSS reader
  • Major principles from the following books, articles and videos:

            - 21st Century Skills

            - Curriculum 21

            - Shaping Tech for the Classroom

            - Dan Meyer Tedx Talk

  • Inspire students to use technology in useful and innovative ways




Teachers will be able to….

  • Create an online professional library by subscribing to relevant content and education related blogs and websites
  • Participate in an online, collaborative learning environment
  • Apply ideas gained from online collaboration to the classroom setting
  • Engage in professional dialogue via team discussions and online forums


Stage 2 – Determine Acceptable Evidence


What evidence will show that students understand?

Performance Tasks:

Demonstrate engagement as a learner with the goal to inspire  and empower students as 21st century learners.  


Goal:  Utilize the power of the Internet, specifically by subscribing to relevant blogs using an RSS reader, in order to enhance instruction in the classroom

Role:  21st Century Educator, facilitator of learning

Audience: 21st Century Students

Situation: College preparatory, private international school


  • RSS reader with subscription to at least 5 educational blogs
  • Participate in discussions and online forums to reflect upon new learning and the use of technology to prepare students as 21st century learners
  • Implement ideas gained from online learnings and discussions with colleagues in the classroom

What other evidence needs to be collected in light of Stage 1 Desired Results?

Other Evidence:  (e.g., tests, quizzes, prompts, work samples, observations)

Faculty Meetings Turn and Talk:  What have you been reading lately?  How has this impacted your classroom practice?  Your educational beliefs?  Your students’ performance?

Content Teams:  Bring ideas and suggestions gleaned from personal online libraries and discuss implementation in the classroom

Professional Streams:  Apply knowledge gained and use to reach annual professional goals; consider goals centered on a technology enhanced classroom

Student Self-Assessment and Reflection:

 Moodle Forum Talking Points:  Share ideas and personal reflections via an online forum specifically for high school faculty

(New Faculty) Participate in online Learning Colleagues Program and reflect upon how information gleaned from the RSS reader is impacting the classroom



Stage 3 – Plan Learning Experiences


What sequence of teaching and learning experiences will equip students to engage with, develop, and demonstrate the desired understandings?  Use the following sheet to list the key teaching and learning activities in sequence.  


March 2012

  • Introduce educational blogs to faculty via Weekly News and ask them to find those relevant to their content - share information via e-mail, departmental discussion, and faculty meetings
  • Introduce Concepts of 21st Century Skills at Faculty Meeting, specifically the shifts of education from teacher centered to student centered:  Are we doing all we can to prepare students for the world of tomorrow?
  • Show Dan Meyer Tedx Talk: pose reflective questions via Weekly News

April 2012

  • Continue 21st Century Skills in faculty meeting with a presentation and discussion of the 5 minds for the future
  • Work with department chairs to generate discussion of useful blogs in the department meetings
  • Re-establish high school professional development forum titled Talking Points via Moodle
  • Utilize Talking Points to share lesson on setting up an RSS Reader

May 2012

  • Faculty Meeting Turn and Talk - sharing good blogs and ideas
  • Ask faculty who have set up RSS Reader to present:  How has this changed your practice?
  • At annual goals reflection, encourage use of technology as a goal for the next academic year, specifically using the individual streams to collaborate with colleagues on the increased use of technology

Summer 2012

  • Continue to share information via Moodle Talking Points
  • Set up RSS Reader and subscribe to 5 educational blogs

August/September 2012

  • Open year with goal of shifting towards increased use of technology to include implementation of Starboards and training, continued use of RSS readers, and continued focus on 21st century skills
  • Shift professional and informational communication to Moodle Forum Talking Points

Additional learning activities to be determined as we move forward


Adapted from Wiggins, Grant and Jay McTighe Understanding by Design, 2nd Edition, ASCD, Alexandria, VA, 2005.  

Note:  As per Wiggins and McTighe’s suggestions in their book Understanding by Design, the Six Facets of Understanding have been considered throughout the development of all three stages of the unit