Posted by: lindapemik | November 24, 2010

Learning outcomes for the 21st century

I’ve been reflecting this week on my learning in eci831 in preparation for “The “Presentation”.  Needless to say that I have learned a lot: new skills, new knowledge, even new attitudes, but the one thing that stands out as probably the most significant for me both professionally and personally is my new understanding of computer literacy.  I argued in an earlier post that:

northern educators must embrace technology and do all that is possible to help our students prepare to take their place, not only in Nunavut but in the world.  It would be a shame to once more see Inuit marginalized by a new divide, the digital divide”.

When I started eci831 I had a very narrow definition of “computer literacy”.  I thought that someone was computer literate if they could use a computer to do word processing, create spreadsheets and access information using tools such as Google.   I was satisfied that all of our students have the opportunity to take an Intro to Computers course and emerge from our College with these basic skills.  But now I realize that we are selling our students short!  College graduates in 2010 need to have a much higher level of skills.  They need to be prepared to live in a technology and media-suffused environment.

Our definition of computer literacy needs to expand to include: information, media and ICT literacy.  I found an interesting model for 21st century education on the Partnership for 21st Century Skills website.  They have developed a holistic view of 21st century teaching and learning that combines a discrete focus on 21st century student outcomes supported by systems to help students master the multi-dimensional abilities required of them in the 21st century.

This model clearly illustrates my vision for the learning outcomes of our graduates.  It can be applied to all levels of learning from kindergarten to post secondary.  If this model was to be adopted for Nunavut schools, it should be noted however that the learning environment is bi-cultural and bi-lingual, providing a solid, culturally appropriate foundation for all learning and teaching and that Inuit knowledge and ways of knowing are infused into curriculum and teaching

If our college were to get serious about teaching information, media and ICT literacy as expected learning outcomes in all programs what impact would this have on our students?

Imagine graduate teachers passing on their 21 st century skills and knowledge to the next generation; nursing and social work graduates using the latest technologies to improve their practice and stay connected to wide professional networks;  business and leadership grads applying their  ability to collaborate and contribute to their organizations;  artists and artisans marketing their creations on-line; Inuit studies grads creating media that will preserve traditional knowledge and skills…and so on and so on.  Fueled by imagination and creativity–the possibilities are limitless.



  1. Linda, It’s really interesting to read how you apply all of this to post-secondary education. As a high school teacher, it gives me a glimpse of what my students need to be able to do. Thanks!


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