21st Century Fluencies
We need to move our thinking beyond our primary focus—beyond traditional literacy to an additional set of 21st-century fluencies, skills that reflect the times we live in.
Today, it's essential that all of our students have a wide range of skills beyond those that were needed in the 20th century, a range that includes the skills needed to function within a rapidly changing society. These skills are not about tecnological prowess. The essential 21st Century Fluencies are not about hardware, they are about headware! Critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, innovation, and so much more.
21st Century Fluencies
are not about hardware, they are about headware!"
These aren't just for the students, though. The 21st-century fluencies are process skills that we all need, and there is as much benefit in cultivating them within yourself as within your classroom.
It's easy for us to say, "Kids need problem-solving skills." But this begs these questions: "What do these skills look like? What do they look like in the real world? What do they look like in my classroom? How do I teach them? How do students learn them? How can I assess them?" We had the same questions, which is why we created the 21st-century fluencies—structured processes for the essential skills needed to succeed today. Below is a brief overview of the Fluencies, which are outlined extensively in our book Literacy is Not Enough, and that you can experience in our workshops.
Solution Fluency is the ability to think creatively to solve problems in real time by clearly defining the problem, designing an appropriate solution, delivering the solution and then evaluating the process and the outcome. This is about whole-brain thinking - creativity and problem solving applied on-demand.
Information Fluency is the ability to unconsciously and intuitively interpret information in all forms and formats in order to extract the essential knowledge, authenticate it, and perceive its meaning and significance.
Creativity Fluency is the process by which artistic proficiency adds meaning through design, art and storytelling. It is about using innovative design to add value to the function of a product though the form.
There are two components of Media Fluency. Firstly, the ability to look analytically at any communication to interpret the real message, and evaluate the efficacy of the chosen medium. Secondly, to create original communications by aligning the message and audience though the most appropriate and effective medium.
Collaboration Fluency is team working proficiency that has reached the unconscious ability to work cooperatively with virtual and real partners in an online environment to solve problems and create original products.
All the 21st Century fluencies are learned within the context of the Global Digital Citizen, using the guiding principles of leadership, ethics, altruistic service, environmental stewardship, global citizenship, digital citizenship, and personal responsibility.