If you’re designing learning activities, or curriculum planning for 21st Century skills, that require students to demonstrate or develop 21st Century skills, then there’s some help in the form of a new app for Windows 8. 21st Century Learning Design is a tool developed to help teachers in assessing where their current and planned activities develop 21st Century skills, and guides teachers with structures and further learning resources that will help curriculum planning for 21st Century skills.

21st Century skills development is being rolled out in schools across Australia  to help teachers prepare for the PISA test in 2015 (which will assess students’ collaboration and communication skills) and curriculum planning for 21st Century skills in the new National Curriculum. 

Students around the world need advanced skills to succeed in the globalised, knowledge-based world of today. 21st Century Learning Design helps teachers design lessons and learning activities to build students’ 21st century skills. The professional development program is based on rubrics developed and tested in one of the largest ever international studies of 21st Century Skills – the Innovative Teaching and Learning (ITL) Research project.

In the Windows 8 app, materials are presented in an easy to use, highly interactive way. It will help teachers to identify and understand the opportunities that learning activities give students to build 21st century skills. Each learning activity is any task that students do as part of their school related work - it can be an exercise that students complete in one class period or an extended project that takes place both in and outside of school. The rubrics incorporate a research-based methodology for coding learning activities to ensure you are embedding 21st century skills in your teaching practices, and the Rubric for Student Work provides a framework to assess students’ development of 21st century skills.

Screenshot of the 21CLD appFeatures of the 21st Century Learning Design app

  • Explore the dimension of 21st Century Learning Design, through rubrics and dimensions.

  • Evaluate your content against all or some of the dimensions.

  • Receive detailed breakdowns of your understanding of the dimensions.

  • Export your assessment results to detailed Word documents.

  • To aid curriculum planning for 21st Century skills, the app helps find exemplar units of work with strong 21st Century Learning Design aspects

Staff development for 21st Century skills

Microsoft has partnered with two Australian Professional Learning providers to offer 21st Century Learning Design training for your school. This training is contextualized to Australian school needs and curriculum focus. Both Design | Learn | Empower and  Expanding Learning Horizons would be happy to discuss your training needs and tailor a learning experience to suit your school. If you would like to find out more about the 21CLD Program from Microsoft directly, you can also email us at: aus-edu@microsoft.com

Download the free 21st Century Learning Design app from the Windows 8 Store

Windows Store icon for 21st Century Learning Design app