The Four Cs which are also referred to as the 4Cs are skills identified as the most important for the advancement of education in the 21st Century. These skills are codependent and are all needed for successful learning in the 21st Century. Common Sense Education (2016) states that critical thinking refers to students abilities to analyse, interpret, evaluate, make decisions, and solve problems. Communication refers to the sharing of information while expressing thoughts and opinions openly to others. Technology, when applied strategically through digital tools, can enhance how the four Cs get support in the classroom setting (Common Sense Education, 2016). Critical thinking can be integrated into the learning process by having students contribute through surveys to service improvement in the school (National Education Association). This activity can be adapted in the classroom by having students write down their opinions or share them in class explaining how the services provided can be improved. Communication is described using an example of students working in groups to create a storyboard of a historical context. This type of exchange can be facilitated by use of digital tools such as Nearpod to create a presentation that teaches their topic to the rest of the class. Collaboration can be adapted to collaborative activities whereby students team up to identify endangered species in different countries (National Education Association). This collective undertaking can be facilitated in the classroom by giving the teams various functions such as research, documentation and presentation to the class. Creativity can be expressed through students identifying local issues such as traffic congestion and conduct research, gather statistics, and come up with useful information which they can present in class (National Education Association). In the classroom, these activities can be facilitated by use of technology in the form of internet provisions and digital tools to aid in better presentation.
According to ASCD Express (2015), questioning assists in the sustenance of a thriving learning environment through fostering the engagement of students in the learning process. The teachers will also be able to gather information about how much the students have understood from a lesson. Learning tools such as EdPuzzle and Socrative can be used to enable integration of questioning in the classroom. Pasco County Schools (2013) demonstrates the use of Nearpod which is an interactive formative assessment digital tool for students learning activities that allows them to engage in active and interactively learning. For a one on one computer-based interaction within a real-time classroom presentation and assessment tools such as Nearpod can be used to enable students to learn better through real-time feedback and interaction with shared learning content. Such assessment tools provide interactive questions that promote higher-level critical thinking and comprehension of classroom material (Pasco County Schools, 2013). Nearpod could be used by teachers to share classroom learning material that is to be taught collectively with interactive exchange among the students. In a classroom setting, it can be used to gauge the students understanding by using open-ended and multiple-choice questions that provide real-time feedback to the teacher. The students can also be able to interact with each other and share what they have learned.
The 4 Cs are essential in the contemporary learning environment. They have brought about better ways of teaching and learning whereby students can advance their learning experience. These skills function in unison to enable successful learning in the 21st Century. The 4 Cs should be integrated into the classroom environment to improve the whole teaching and learning experience by allowing engagement of students is active learning. Various digital tools such as Nearpod can be used to allow for interactive education by enabling real-time sharing and interactive content for students. Such digital tools facilitate the integration of the 4 Cs in the classroom and therefore significantly improve the whole teaching and learning experience.
ASCD Express 10.09 - Nearpod: A Technology Tool to Engage Students in Inquiry. (2015, January 8). Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/ascd-express/vol10/1009-krahenbuhl.aspxCommon Sense Education. What are the 4Cs? [Video file]. (2016, July 12). Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrEEVZa3f98
National Education Association. Preparing 21st Century Students for a Global Society: An Educators Guide to the Four Cs. Retrieved from http://www.nea.org/tools/52217.htmPasco County Schools. Nearpod at Seven Springs Middle School [Video file]. (2013, November 7). Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSnEL5VaCns
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