21st Century Education

Wicak Amadeo

Generally speaking, the 21st century skills concept is motivated by the belief that teaching students the most relevant, useful, in-demand, and universally applicable skills should be prioritized in today’s schools, and by the related belief that many schools may not sufficiently prioritize such skills or effectively teach them to students.

Education For The Future :
The basic idea is that students, who will come of age in the 21st century, need to be taught different skills than those learned by students in the 20th century, and that the skills they learn should reflect the specific demands that will placed upon them in a complex, competitive, knowledge-based, information-age, technology-driven economy and society.


15 Characteristics of a 21st-Century Teacher

1. Learner-Centered Classroom and Personalized Instructions

As students have access to any information possible, there certainly is no need to “spoon-feed” the knowledge or teach “one-size fits all” content. As students have different personalities, goals, and needs, offering personalized instructions is not just possible but also desirable. When students are allowed to make their own choices, they own their learning, increase intrinsic motivation, and put in more effort — an ideal recipe for better learning outcomes!

2. Students as Producers

Today’s students have the latest and greatest tools, yet, the usage in many cases barely goes beyond communicating with family and friends via chat, text, or calls. Even though students are now viewed as digital natives, many are far from producing any digital content. While they do own expensive devices with capabilities to produce blogs, infographics, books, how-to videos, and tutorials, just to name a few, in many classes, they are still asked to turn those devices off and work with handouts and worksheets. Sadly, often times these papers are simply thrown away once graded. Many students don’t even want to do them, let alone keep or return them later. When given a chance, students can produce beautiful and creative blogs, movies, or digital stories that they feel proud of and share with others.

3. Learn New Technologies

In order to be able to offer students choices, having one’s own hands-on experience and expertise will be useful. Since technology keeps developing, learning a tool once and for all is not a option. The good news is that new technologies are new for the novice and and experienced teachers alike, so everyone can jump in at any time! I used a short-term subscription to www.lynda.com, which has many resources for learning new technologies.

4. Go Global

Today’s tools make it possible to learn about other countries and people first hand. Of course, textbooks are still sufficient, yet, there is nothing like learning languages, cultures, and communication skills from actually talking to people from other parts of the world.

It’s a shame that with all the tools available, we still learn about other cultures, people, and events from the media. Teaching students how to use the tools in their hands to “visit” any corner of this planet will hopefully make us more knowledgable and sympathetic.

5. Be Smart and Use Smart Phones

Once again — when students are encouraged to view their devices as valuable tools that support knowledge (rather than distractions), they start using them as such. I remember my first years of teaching when I would not allow cell phones in class and I’d try to explain every new vocabulary word or answer any question myself — something I would not even think of doing today!

I have learned that different students have different needs when it comes to help with new vocabulary or questions; therefore, there is no need to waste time and explain something that perhaps only one or two students would benefit from. Instead, teaching students to be independent and know how to find answers they need makes the class a different environment!

I have seen positive changes ever since I started viewing students’ devices as useful aid. In fact, sometimes I even respond by saying “I don’t know — use Google and tell us all!” What a difference in their reactions and outcomes!

6. Blog

I have written on the importance of both student and teacher blogging. Even my beginners of English could see the value of writing for real audience and establishing their digital presence. To blog or not to blog should not be a question any more!

7. Go Digital

Another important attribute is to go paperless — organizing teaching resources and activities on one’s own website and integrating technology bring students learning experience to a different level. Sharing links and offering digital discussions as opposed to a constant paper flow allows students to access and share class resources in a more organized fashion.

8. Collaborate

Technology allows collaboration between teachers & students. Creating digital resources, presentations, and projects together with other educators and students will make classroom activities resemble the real world. Collaboration should go beyond sharing documents via e-mail or creating PowerPoint presentations. Many great ideas never go beyond a conversation or paper copy, which is a great loss! Collaboration globally can change our entire experience!

9. Use Twitter Chat

Participating in Twitter chat is the cheapest and most efficient way to organize one’s own PD, share research and ideas, and stay current with issues and updates in the field. We can grow professionally and expand our knowledge as there is a great conversation happening every day, and going to conferences is no longer the only way to meet others and build professional learning networks.

10. Connect

Connect with like-minded individuals. Again, today’s tools allow us to connect anyone, anywhere, anytime. Have a question for an expert or colleague? Simply connect via social media: follow, join, ask, or tell!

11. Project-Based Learning

As today’s students have an access to authentic resources on the web, experts anywhere in the world, and peers learning the same subject somewhere else, teaching with textbooks is very “20th-century” (when the previously listed option were not available). Today’s students should develop their own driving questions, conduct their research, contact experts, and create final projects to share all using devices already in their hands. All they need from their teacher is guidance!

12. Build Your Positive Digital Footprint

It might sound obvious, but it is for today’s teachers to model how to appropriately use social media, how to produce and publish valuable content, and how to create sharable resources. Even though it’s true that teachers are people, and they want to use social media and post their pictures and thoughts, we cannot ask our students not to do inappropriate things online if we ourselves do it. Maintaining professional behavior both in class and online will help build positive digital footprint and model appropriate actions for students.

13. Code

While this one might sound complicated, coding is nothing but today’s literacy. As a pencil or pen were “the tools” of the 20th-century, making it impossible to picture a teacher not capable to operate with it, today’s teacher must be able to operate with today’s pen and pencil, i.e., computers. Coding is very interesting to learn — the feeling of writing a page with HTML is amazing! Even though I have ways to go, just like in every other field, a step at a time can take go a long way. Again, lynda.com is a great resource to start with!

14. Innovate

I invite you to expand your teaching toolbox and try new ways you have not tried before, such as teaching with social media or replacing textbooks with web resources. Not for the sake of tools but for the sake of students!

Ever since I started using TED talks and my own activities based on those videos, my students have been giving a very different feedback. They love it! They love using Facebook for class discussions and announcements. They appreciate novelty — not the new tools, but the new, more productive and interesting ways of using them.

15. Keep Learning

As new ways and new technology keep emerging, learning and adapting is essential. The good news is: it’s fun, and even 20 min a day will take you a long way!

As always, please share your vision in the comment area! Happy 21st-century teaching!



Kompetensi Siswa Abad 21

Masyarakat dunia telah berada pada tahun ke-11 di abad ke-21. Apa yang diramalkan dalam satu dasawarsa ke belakang kini terjadi, revolusi teknologi berkembang dramatis. Kita sekarang hidup di sebuah masyarakat-media semakin beragam, mengglobal, dan kompleks.

Informasi makin deras mengalir. Para siswa memiliki kecepatan yang lebih tinggi daripada guru-gurunya dalam menyerap informasi apa pun. Entahlah apa yang akan terjadi jika murid-murid lebih menguasai bahasa teknologi daripada gurunya. Apa yang akan terjadi 5 tahun mendatang, 10 tahun, apalagi 20 tahun. Sekolah mempersiapkan siswa dengan cara-cara yang ketinggalan di belakang.

Sementara itu, ancaman degradasi kehidupan karena daya dukung alam yang semakin terbatas. Kota-kota besar makin padat manusia, kendaraan, dan sepeda motor. Kita sedang menghadapi masalah pemanasan global, kelaparan, kemiskinan, masalah kesehatan, ledakan populasi penduduk, krisis energi, kekerasan sosial dan bencana alam. Masalah-masalah ini menyebabkan kebutuhan siswa untuk dapat berkomunikasi, berkolaborasi, beradaptasi dengan perubahan semakin kritis. Tantangan untuk menyelaraskan kehidupan pribadi, sosial, ekonomi dan politik pada tingkat lokal, nasional dan global perlu dipersiapkan lebih prisisif.

Anak-anak Indonesia tidak semuanya beruntung mendapatkan penguatan untuk mengantisipasi berbagai perbedaan dan perubahan. Dunia belajarnya disiapkan untuk menghadapi kehidupan nyata. Pendidikan yang melatih mereka meningkatkan daya tahan pribadi dan daya adaptasi terhadap perubahan.

Sekolah memperkenalkan siswa pada teknologi terbaru, kolaborasi dalam konteks global yang menyediakan peluang mengembangkan wawasan tentang kemungkinan yang sangat luas menemukan hal yang baru, energi baru, kemajuan medis, pemulihan kerusakan lingkungan, pengembangan komunikasi, hingga eksplorasi ke ruang angkasa dan ke kedalaman lautan. Untuk mereka ada banyak kemungkinan bahkan tak terbatas.

Kemungkinan yang sangat luas hanya dapat diraih jika sekolah mampu mempersiapkan siswa dengan bekal pengetahuan dan keterampilan yang terus disempurnakan melalui kegiatan belajar secara berkelanjutan sehingga siswa memperoleh pengetahuan dan keterampilan terbaiknya.

Keterampilan abad ke-21 yang siswa asah harus bersifat interdisipliner, terintegrasi, berbasis proyek, hingga mengaplikasikan keterampilan terbaik untuk bertahan hidup. Tony Wagner dalam bukunya Global Achievement Gap menyatakan bahwa ada 7 keterampilan utama yang wajib siswa kuasai agar bertahan hidup dan beradaptasi dengan perubahan, yaitu:

1. Terampil berpikir kritis dan memecahkan masalah.
2. Kolaborasi berbasis jaringan dan memimpin dengan pengaruh.
3. Mampu mengubah arah dan bergerak secara cepat dan efektif dan beradaptasi.
4. Memiliki daya inisiatif dan berkewirausahaan
5. Bicara dan memiliki kemampuan menulis secara efektif.
6. Mengakses dan menganalisis informasi.
7. Bersikap selalu ingin tahu dan berimajinasi

Untuk mengembangkan sejumlah keterampilan itu, maka sekolah perlu mengantisipasi berbagai langkah perubahan yang meliputi komponen utama yaitu penyempurnaan kurikulum yang relevan dengan kebutuhan pengembangan siswa, meningkatkan pengetahuan dan keterampilan guru, dan melaksanakan pembelajaran yang terkontrol agar sekolah dapat memastikan bahwa target mutu yang diharapkannya terwujud.


Sir Ken Robinson pernah menasehati kita para orang tua. Saat ini yang diperlukan anak adalah pendidikan terpersonalisasi.

Menyeragamkan pendidikan antar anak sama dengan menyiapkan anak menjadi orang yang gagal dan tidak tangguh menghadapi tantangan abad 21.

Saat ini, kita dengan mudah memperoleh Daftar Keahlian yang sebaiknya dimiliki anak agar bisa survive dalam kehidupannya di abad 21.

Apakah calistung masih dianggap segalanya?


Ujian Nasional Mematikan Kreativitas

Banyak hasil riset menunjukkan jenis evaluasi yang mematikan kreativitas seperti UN malah sama sekali tidak mendukung tumbuhnya perekonomian sebuah negara. Lingkungan pendidikan yang dinamis dan kreatif memiliki hubungan yang kuat dengan bertumbuhnya dunia industri modern, di saat hampir semua negara yang maju dan kuat di aspek industri didukung sistem pendidikan yang kreatif. Sekolah diberi kepercayaan sepenuhnya untuk mendesain model pembelajaran yang disesuaikan dengan bakat dan minat siswa. Itu artinya harus ada model yang lebih fleksibel dan sinergis antara dunia pendidikan dan dunia industri, tidak menutup ide-ide kreatif, serta memberikan kebebasan dalam mengelola kelas berdasarkan kesepakatan siswa dan guru.

Mirjana Radovic-Markovic dalam Creative Education and New Learning as Means of Encouraging Creativity, Original Thinking and Entrepreneurship (2014) menyebutkan setidaknya ada empat hal yang bisa menggambarkan sebuah sistem pendidikan memiliki kebebasan dalam proses belajar-mengajarnya. Pertama, bagaimana memastikan setiap siswa untuk terlibat langsung dalam mengambil keputusan tentang keterampilan apa yang mereka inginkan dan pelajari selama bersekolah.

Berkaca pada sistem pendidikan yang berlangsung di Finlandia, misalnya, setiap siswa SMP dan SMA diminta menentukan jenis keterampilan yang ingin mereka pelajari dan sekolah menyediakan fasilitas belajarnya.

Karena itu, tak mengherankan, meskipun bukan SMK, sudah menjadi keputusan pemerintah Finlandia untuk menempatkan kelas-kelas pertukangan, listrik, robotik, menjahit, bordir, dan modeling pada setiap sekolah menengah pertama dan kedua.

Kedua, harus ada kebebasan bagi para siswa untuk mengekspresikan opini dan kehendak untuk belajar meskipun itu salah. Ada sekolah yang anggaran untuk pelatihan guru dan siswanya lebih banyak untuk membeli alat peraga dan membiarkan para siswanya untuk membuat sendiri daftar keinginannya meskipun pada akhirnya salah.

Belajar dari kesalahan sama sekali tak didapati dari proses Ujian Nasional karena siswa hanya diukur dari satu sisi, yaitu kemampuan akademik semata tanpa menimbang bakat dan minat mereka. Karena itu, prinsip kedua ini sangat jauh bertolak belakang dengan kebijakan soal Ujian Nasional yang masih terus berlangsung hingga saat ini.

Ketiga, dalam proses belajar-mengajar, para siswa memiliki kemampuan untuk mengenali potensi mereka pada setiap kemampuan seperti kemampuan kognitif, afektif, dan psikomotorik. Jika kemampuan akademis siswa hanya terbaca melalui kemampuan mengelola kebun dan perpustakaan, tetapi lemah di bidang matematika dan bahasa, sudah barang tentu mereka tak akan pernah bisa lulus UN karena potensi siswa tersebut tak berkembang dan dikembangkan menurut kapasitasnya.

Keempat, setiap sekolah sepatutnya menjalankan fleksibilitas dalam proses belajar-mengajar, terutama dalam hal ketentuan waktu dan tempat untuk belajar. Jika berdasarkan assessment terlihat seorang siswa tak mampu menyelesaikan masa belajar selama tiga tahun, jenis tes yang harus dikembangkan ialah mengevaluasi kemampuan siswa tersebut berdasarkan bakat dan minat yang selama ini diperdalam olehnya di sekolah.


Wicak Amadeo's photo.
Wicak Amadeo's photo.
Wicak Amadeo's photo.
Wicak Amadeo's photo.
Wicak Amadeo's photo.

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