I'm going to discuss 3 skills I think are necessary for teachers now that we did not discuss in this episode--so you can listen to the episode, too!
Number 3An important skill to know and be able to apply is UDL. UDL stands for Universal Design for Learning. UDL's goals are to create "expert learners" who are strategic and goal oriented, resourceful and knowledgeable, and purposeful and motivated. Instructors use the UDL guidelines to help students access information, build knowledge, and internalize learning by providing multiple means of engagement, representation, action and expression. There are definitely elements in the guidelines that instructors may already do: giving choices to students, developing self-assessment and reflection, and supplying background. Still, the guidelines are full of strategies that help all students learn. They are a valuable resource to help instructors help all students. As we move all our students to credit classes, taking a look at these guidelines and setting a goal to up our game in this skill area is a good idea.
Number 2Another important skill instructors should have is the ability to craft lessons and learning experiences that cause just the right amount of struggle for students. In fact, "students do better when given room to struggle with difficulty," according to a study cited by Brown, Roediger, and McDaniel (2014), authors of the book Make it Stick: The Science of Successful Learning. The trick is getting that struggle just right and scaffolding to assist students if the struggle pushes them to too high levels of anxiety where learning starts to fail and students start to quit. Knowing that point for each student is important. Allowing students to struggle and getting students comfortable with that feeling (without failing to experience it) will help them later when they encounter those same feelings in other situations like more advanced classes or their work.
A final necessary skill for 21st century teachers is being able to implement technology and teach technology to our students. Particularly in community college where we get a lot of first gen students and some students who may be less prepared in all sorts of ways, it's important to introduce them to and have them practice with basic tools they may end up using in life or work. Even something as basic as Google Docs and its basic workings give students something they can use for a long time. Practicing with new tools forces them to gain more flexibility and makes them more at ease when trying whatever new tool they might need to learn at work. Being comfortable with trying new software or web tools gives those students an advantage in life.
These are just my thoughts. Disagree? Agree? Leave a comment!