4Cs Communication Collaboration Critical Think Creativity
Source: Mr. Eric Curts
4Cs – Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking & Creativity – 4Cs We have been deluged with questions asking why we pursued Google for Education. Well besides it being the “right thing” to do, there is absolute brilliance happening in that space, and here is a sample.
The 4Cs of Education are 21st Century Skills that our students need to be successful in their future. These skills are:
- Communication – Sharing thoughts, questions, ideas, and solutions
Our students need to be able to clearly communicate their thoughts through a variety of means including technology. This could include email, chatting, word processing, slideshows, video conferencing (Hangouts), and more. Our students need to share their work with a broad authentic audience beyond just their teacher and the kitchen refrigerator.
- Collaboration – Working together to reach a goal, putting talent, expertise, and smarts to work
In the future our students will have jobs that require them to work together with a wide range of diverse people, who may not even be in the same office, state, or country. Many times this may involve collaborative technology such as Google Docs.
- Creativity – Trying new approaches to get things done equals innovation & invention
Our students can’t simply ingest the facts we give them, and then spit the same information back. They need to be creative, expressing their knowledge in a wide variety of manners including writing, design, animation, video, building, programming, and much more. Our students need to feed their creations back into the class to teach others from what they have learned.
- Critical Thinking – Looking at problems in a new way, linking learning across subjects & disciplines
We don’t even know what challenges the future will bring, so our students need to learn to solve problems, whatever they may be. Instead of simply giving our students notes with all the answers, we need to provide them with project-based, problem-based, and inquiry-based learning, where the students examine data, look for patterns, draw conclusions, and learn for themselves.
On one hand, technology is causing many of the job changes our students will see in their future. On the other hand, we can use technology now to help prepare them. There are many excellent technology tools that can develop the 4C skills in our student, one of the most powerful being the Google Apps ecosystem.
With Google tools student can learn to collaborate with others across the hall or around the world, communicate their ideas digitally with a global audience, be creative with the thousands of web apps available, and think critically as they analyze information in Google Sheets, Search, and more.
To help us help them, I propose the “4C/3A Challenge”…
- Appraise your teaching and tools with the 4Cs
Just like the 4Cs of diamonds can be used to appraise the value of a diamond, we need to use the 4Cs of education to evaluate the quality of our lesson plans and our technology tools. We need to ask ourselves which of the 4Cs are getting covered in the project we have for our students or the program we want them to use.
- Apprise your students of the 4Cs
We need to teach our students what the 4Cs are and give them opportunities to use them routinely in their learning.
- Apply the 4Cs in your professional life
And we need to lead by example. We need to practice the 4Cs in our own professional lives. We need to collaborate with other educators around the world through Google Communities, Twitter chats, Edcamps, and more. We need to be creative in how we use technology to teach our content standards, and communicate our ideas and resources with others.
If we incorporate the 4Cs into our students learning, that will go a long way to help them develop the skills they will need for their future. And it will help to make sure that “teacher” never joins the bowling alley pinsetters, lamplighters, and other jobs that have become obsolete.